Art & Design Employability



In-house exhibition


Students exhibit their own work and present it to an audience in a gallery or studio setting within their educational institution. These are organised and/or curated by either staff or students.


Teamwork, time management, negotiation, documentation, curating, installation skills, working at a larger scale, responding to contexts.

Example 1

Project Title: ‘Entropy’ Year Two Fine Art Photography Exhibition
Student Name: Ewan McCaffrey
School/Department: Fine Art – Photography
Year of study: Two
Project Length:  Term Two, Year Two Opening 3 Feb 2014
Project Location: Grace Clark and Fyfe Gallery, Second Year Studio


To teach students how to negotiate and collaborate with one another and to curate a group show of their own artworks within a gallery space.

This project – the second year show, which takes place early in the second term – aims to give students an opportunity to showcase finished work from projects within a gallery context. This forms the first part of the ‘Creative Spaces’ brief, alongside a catalogue and website that students are required to make as a collective.

The exhibition component of the brief provides students with the chance to work as part of a team, whether for the purposes of fundraising, promotion, curating or installation.

What happened:

The group exhibition is a mandatory part of the second year of studying Fine Art Photography at the Glasgow School of Art. The second term is very much geared towards working with classmates and finding a compromise within a professional environment.

The group exhibition involves reviewing and finishing previous works or making new work, evaluating the space available and, most importantly, negotiating how a series or sequence of works can fit into a gallery context.

The gallery offers an opportunity to present a body of work to an audience that is, according to the gallery, both ‘critically astute and demanding’. It is most students’ first ‘proper’ exhibition, and it is a great learning curve for finding out how much work is involved in putting something like this together.

The 2014 second year show, ‘Entropy’, opened on a Monday night, with refreshments bought with funds raised by the class through bake sales, print sales and a Christmas party the previous term. The show ran for a week, with a second opening for GSA ambassadors on the Thursday night. This provided another interesting insight into the ‘art world’ and networking.

External or internal partners involved:

Various GSA ambassadors (at Thursday night opening)

Project outcomes:

The main outcome was a documented group exhibition of the work of 26 people, in addition to two openings.

Skills students gained from undertaking the project:

Working as part of a team in assembling an exhibition is the key skill that many students gained from this project. This involved formulating ideas and coming to conclusions as a collective. In individual terms, skills gained include the application of practical processes to the gallery context, exercising authority in negotiating work and time management.

Example 2

Project Title: ‘Beyond The Oort Clouds’ Exhibition
Student Name: Tim Dalzell and Richard Krantz
School/Department: Sculpture and Environmental Art
Year of study: Four
Project Length:  Exhibition ran for one night – Wednesday 19 February
Project Location: GSA Student Union Project Spaces


  • To engage in exhibition practice beyond the bookable spaces of the Sculpture Department that are typically used for exhibitions throughout second and third years.
  • To gain skills in installing, curating, promoting and documenting an exhibition.
  • To understand the potential restrictions of an exhibition space and to learn how to adapt to this.
  • To move artworks away from the studio and into a reflective presentation space in order to test their relationships to other works and to a gallery environment.
  • To practice working at a larger scale and to test out ideas worked on in the studio, in preparation for the upcoming degree show.

What happened:

In the third year, students mounted an exhibition called ‘Exotic Matter’ within the Sculpture department, which featured a number of works made collaboratively. From the beginning of fourth year, the intention was to continue this collaboration in some way, and a discussion began around themes, ideas and concepts for new works. As compared to the Sculpture department’s bookable spaces, students felt it was important to look for more professional environments in which to exhibit, and they contacted several gallery spaces across the city. Around the same time, the Student Union re-opened with two new exhibition spaces, providing an ideal opportunity for two students.

Exhibiting at the union meant that students could show their work in an environment that was open and accessible to the general public. It also meant that they could work within a larger space than that which would have been affordable in another venue within the city.

Booking out both spaces several weeks in advance afforded students the time to create new collaborative work. However, after some consideration, they decided that they should instead utilise the opportunity to present two parallel solo exhibitions. At the time, the fundamental themes, ideas and research feeding into their works were strongly related, but the outcomes were very different. An overall title was devised for the exhibition, and work was split into the two different spaces, with collaboration involved in the curatorial decision-making. Ultimately, the idea was to provide the viewer with two interpretations of a space existing on the boundaries between the real, the artificial and the virtual.

External or internal partners involved:

The Glasgow School of Art Student Union

Project outcomes:

The project provided the two students involved with an opportunity to gain experience of exhibiting, allowing them to broaden knowledge of their works through the response of viewers.

When installing the exhibition, students had to negotiate with Student Union staff in order to prepare the space to their needs. Decisions were taken about how work should be displayed in order for it to acknowledge the surrounding environment successfully.

Promotion, via social media and the distribution of posters, allowed students to attract a number of visitors to the event, both fellow art school students and members of the wider public. Through audience response, dialogue between students and documentation, insight was gained into how improvements to works could be made in order to aid planning for the degree show.

Skills students gained from undertaking the project:

  • Consideration of the relationship between artworks and their context.
  • Practical skills in making large work, transporting and installing within a space.
  • Working collaboratively both in terms of curating and promotion.
  • Working in an unfamiliar space and negotiating with staff in a professional environment.
  • Documentation through the mediums of film and photography.

Video Interviews

Fine Art – 3rd Year – Dale Mcginnes

The organising of exhibition takes more than just the art. Dale Mcginnes discusses the formal processes behind the 4th and 5th plinth exhibitions.

3D Craft – 3rd Year – Verena Boem

Final year 3D Craft student Verena would like to sell her work and sees an in-house exhibit as the perfect first step.

Related Pages

The Studio

Visual Literacy