RIG Arts is an award winning, socially engaged arts charity based in Inverclyde, bringing artists and the community together in a collaborative and creative way.
The charity designs and delivers a dynamic programme of visual arts & film projects, workshops, exhibitions and more, using creativity to work with people to affect change in Urban Regeneration, Climate Challenge, Heritage, and Mental Health while also helping young people with Autism build better social & communication skills.
RIG Arts are passionate about using creativity and innovation to influence change and to make a positive difference in people’s lives and their environments.
Karen Orr, CEO of RIG Arts, has recently taken on a Hammond Associates property, brokered through Bowman Rebecchi, in the centre of Greenock (a town in Inverclyde, Scotland) with help from the lease holders, Outer Spaces.
It’s been an exciting period for everyone involved, and bringing the disused building back into community use is helping Karen get back to her artistic roots.
Karen, who is an artist in her own right, was born and bred in Greenock, and studied at the Glasgow School of Art. Later in life, Karen started a company called Artista where she began making props for television and film. In 2009, she took on studio space at Ladyburn through Riverside Inverclyde and RIG Arts evolved from there.
“We’re already making links with other groups of artists across Inverclyde and we’re all finding out about what’s happening in the community.”
“It’s giving people a real chance to explore their own work and to teach others.”
“It gives people the room they need to work and keeps the buildings ventilated and occupied.”
While RIG Arts will always be her passion, she says it’s good to have space and time to dedicate to her own work. Since starting up RIG Arts, Karen has re-commenced painting, saying:
“It’s great getting back into my own creative space and figuring out my art again.”
“I do so much socially-engaged work with RIG and I absolutely love it, but it’s amazing to have a wee place just for me so I can find my own creativity again.”
She adds how getting back into her own studio has been an “amazing experience” and that this is “a brilliant opportunity for local artists”.
Karen also has plans to create a series of compositions themed around women’s issues, and hopes the space will develop into a creative hub in its own right – helping groups of creatives work together.
Photo credits: RIG Arts