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7 great events to experience during the Mackintosh Festival 2016

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House for an Art Lover, Bellahouston Park, Glasgow

House for an Art Lover, Bellahouston Park, Glasgow

Art lovers and design fans, rejoice – the Mackintosh Festival is back in and around Glasgow for the fifth year this October. Whether you’re already an ardent admirer of the works of Charles Rennie Mackintosh or are still discovering his amazing contributions to both Glasgow and Art Nouveau, this month-long celebration is the perfect time to explore his legacy and works – we are in the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, after all!

Here are just seven fantastic events that you might want to check out during the festival.

1. Mackintosh the Innovator

When? Every weekend throughout October
Where? St Enoch Centre, Glasgow

Mackintosh goes digital! New for 2016, you can join in with a unique 3D experience which allows you to get to grips with the vision and style of Charles Rennie Mackintosh like never before. With the help of virtual reality goggles, you’ll even meet the designer himself!  To accompany this immersive installation, there’s also an exhibition featuring works of Glasgow school children.

The Hill House, HelensburghThe Hill House, Helensburgh

2. The Big Rose Project

When? Various dates in October
Where? The Hill House in Helensburgh, The Lighthouse in Glasgow, and the Mackintosh Church at Queen’s Cross in Glasgow

Mackintosh’s famous rose designs will be celebrated with The Big Rose Project, and you can be part of it! Help to create a carpet of stencilled roses outside some of his famous architectural works and contribute to some amazing outdoor visual art. Don’t forget your camera!

3. The Mackintosh Club:  A Celebration of the Glasgow Four

When? Throughout October
Where? The Mackintosh Club, Helensburgh

For life-long Mackintosh fans, some thrilling news – there’s a new Mackintosh venue to discover during this year’s festival! Named the Mackintosh Club, the top floor gallery space can be found in a building in Helensburgh, designed by Mackintosh in the early 20th century. Throughout October, it will host events centred on the collective known as the Glasgow Four (which Mackintosh was part of) who were attributed with developing the Glasgow Style.

4. Mackintosh Inspired Stencils

When? Saturday 22 – Sunday 23 October
Where? House for an Art Lover, Bellahouston Park

The Mackintosh Festival is the time to let your creativity flow! If you are inspired to add a few Mackintosh-style touches to your own home, take part in these classes at House for an Art Lover where you can try stencilling in different mediums, pick up some helpful tips on shading, and even have a go at creating your own stencils.

The Music Room, House for an Art LoverThe Music Room, House for an Art Lover

5. Charles Rennie Mackintosh – An Afternoon in Song

When? Saturday 2 October
Where? House for an Art Lover, Bellahouston Park

Music might not be something you’d normally associate with Mackintosh, but tenor Glen Cunningham and mezzo soprano Stephanie Maitland have put together an enchanting musical programme themed around things that inspired the architect’s work, including nature and his love for his wife Margaret Macdonald. The performances are followed by a scrumptious afternoon with prosecco – perfect for a wonderfully civilised Sunday afternoon outing!


Luminous Birds by Kathy Hinde

6.Guided tours of The Lighthouse

When? Every weekend throughout October
Where? The Lighthouse, Glasgow

Set in a building originally designed by Mackintosh in 1895, The Lighthouse is now Scotland’s Centre for Design and Architecture. Take a guided tour (or a self-led tour) to discover the story of this striking building and visit the Mackintosh Centre to explore his range of works, which include architectural designs and furniture. As you walk up the helical staircase to the viewing gallery, you’ll experience Luminous Birds, a sublime art installation of origami birds, light and sound by Kathy Hinde.

7. Mackintosh’s Student Days at The Glasgow School of Art

When? Tuesday 25 October at 12.30pm
Where? Window on Mackintosh Visitor Centre, The Glasgow School of Art

Hear from GSA archivist Susannah Waters at a talk on Mackintosh’s student days and see rare original sketches and watercolours he produced during this period of his life. You can also explore exhibitions at the Reid Gallery and discover important works by the designer in the Window on Mackintosh Centre.


That’s just for starters – be sure to check out what else is on during the Mackintosh Festival, or experience more arts and culture whilst in Scotland.

Have you been to a Mackintosh themed tour, exhibition or workshop? Then share your snaps with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #iad2016


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