PENFEST 2015 Diary Alert


Get hold of your diary and ringfence PENFEST 2015 dates and times!


Here is the schedule as it stands at present for the 2015 week of your local Arts Festival.


Get in touch if you wish to put on and register YOUR selforganised event! It is not too late yet, just get in touch to discuss! We will include you in our PENFEST brochure if you manage to get confirmation by the 15th July deadline. In any case we will always add you to our online calendar if you miss the deadline.


As always, we have the very popular Penicuik Turner Prize Exhibition, concerts and workshops scheduled. The schools project this year is a slideshow of art pupils from all schools, Primaries and Secondaries, have made over spring and summer 2015 in their local environment. And then of course there will be Open Studio and Arts Trail if you take part as usual?
Looking forward to hear from you!

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June News Bulletin


Although life is a little quieter during the summer months there is still plenty happening at the Arts Centre. Our cafe remains open throughout the summer and remember it has a small garden to the rear which is a suntrap. Just the place to meet friends for coffee and cake.

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The gift shop upstairs is usually open during Cafe hours and is always well stocked with hand crafted goods made by local artisans; pay us a visit to get that extra special gift. If we don’t have what you are looking for please discuss it with us. We may be able to help.


[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/1″][vc_text_separator title=”Quick look at our May event, Poetry & Music in Rosslyn Chapel (click on images):” title_align=”separator_align_center” border=”yes” border_color=”#1e73be” background_color=”#efefef” title_color=”#189b99″][vc_separator type=”normal” position=”center” circle_position=”circle_center”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/6″][vc_column_text]Poets Henry Marsh, Margaret Christie and Brian Johnstone read from their own work, and the Miguda Quartet played Haydn’s String Quartet, Op 76 No 2, by candle light.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/6″][vc_single_image image=”16562″ alignment=”center” border_color=”grey” img_link_large=”yes” img_link_target=”_self” img_size=”100×100″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/6″][vc_single_image image=”16555″ alignment=”center” border_color=”grey” img_link_large=”yes” img_link_target=”_self” img_size=”100×100″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/6″][vc_single_image image=”16564″ alignment=”center” border_color=”grey” img_link_large=”yes” img_link_target=”_self” img_size=”100×100″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/6″][vc_single_image image=”16566″ alignment=”center” border_color=”grey” img_link_large=”yes” img_link_target=”_self” img_size=”100×100″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/6″][vc_single_image image=”16556″ alignment=”center” border_color=”grey” img_link_large=”yes” img_link_target=”_self” img_size=”100×100″][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_separator type=”normal” position=”center” circle_position=”circle_center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]


June is a very busy month for exhibitions with three very different exhibitions in the centre – another three good reasons to drop in for a coffee.

27th May – 6th June:  Kirstie Hustler

There is a special pop-up exhibition in the cafe gallery of works by Kirstie Hustler. Kirstie produces atmospheric, semi-abstract coastal paintings and collages. Kirstie is interested in the margins: the places where things meet and merge and the spaces between them.


Across the Cliffs                   ~      Fractured                      ~      Funfair

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a special exhibition of prints in room 1 of the Arts Centre

Every year the Royal Print Society exhibits in room 1. This is always a first class exhibition and is free. Please take the opportunity to look in at room 1 during normal cafe opening hours for this very professional exhbition.

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Community Arts Classes with Opening on 7th June, 2pm

From the 7th of June the community Art Classes take over the cafe. Works from classes led by Tony McKale and Jan Miller will be on show. Come and see what your friends are up to in their art classes. Phantastic range of media on display, and great talent.

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Summer Events

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KNIT 1 BIKE 1 :  Talk on Tuesday 18th August, 7.30pm

Later in the summer we are hosting Janet Renouf-Miller as she makes her way round Scotland on a folding bike crocheting and knitting things seen on the way. You can find out more about this fascinating, crazy trip at  
Janet will give an illustrated talk on her travels in Room 1, 4 West Street, Penicuik on Tuesday the 18th of August starting at 7.30pm. Tea and coffee provided. Cost £4 (£2 for PCAA members). Tickets at door or from the Gift shop from the beginning of July.

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Anthony Schrag is a contemporary artist whose exhibitions and projects centre on live events from climbing a gallery wall to encouraging people of all ages to roll down hill for his exhibition of MALE ROLL MODEL.  His next project is a walking pilgrimage from Aberdeenshire to the Venice Biennale starting on the 7th June. We are hoping to host and encourage him on part of his journey. Keep an eye on the website for more details of this exciting project and help to put Penicuik on the artistic map.


Other Happenings

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Tuesday, 16th June, 7pm, Arts Centre

Hurray, time again to give thumbs up to the uniqueness that is the PCAA !
The agenda can be seen here below and further papers will be available on the website later.
We promise to keep the formal business as brief as possible and allow plenty of time for discussion and informal talks with the committee members. It is very rewarding to be involved with such an active organisation. Come along and find out more. We promise not to twist anybody’s arm!
View or download the AGM papers from here.

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and for one night the forest was carpeted by flowers.

Local artist Susan Gierasik worked with pupils from Garvald school to bring colour and beauty to the Lost Garden of Penicuik. This installatin was part of the “Woollen Woods” Voluntary Arts Week initiative, and recycled crafty itens of the PCAA’s previous Brightening Penicuik Ventures.
click on image to see full album

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“Said WHO?”

A blogging ‘who-dunnit’ game!
It is now exactly a year ago that around 150 primary pupils of Penicuik went on a quest to write the best Penicuik Mystery story after having attended inspiring workshops with Award Winning Children Books author Janis Mackay.  81 of these children succeeded to enter their creative writing to our story competition, which then resulted in a publication, The Penicuik Epic. 15 local writers worked away over the summer months 2014 to process the entries and there are still a few copies of this unique book for sale in Penicuik: at our craft shop, in the library, at the Town Crier, and at Peny Coe press.
Cool  summer holiday reading!


May News Bulletin

The Roxburgh quartet blew us off our feet with their vibrant interpretations of the composers. You will find some good images including the detailed program from the night here.

May is a busy month in the Arts Centre. We do hope you will find something to interest you in our programme. If you have an idea for an event or activity in the centre we would love to hear from you. Contact Jackie on 01968 675661.


Recent events in the Arts Centre have been very successful and it was grand to see some new faces in the audience. Gerda Stevenson in March gave a very moving performance presenting her new album “Night Touches  Day”; The Roxburgh String Quartet in April filled the room with a glorious sound leaving the audience entranced. We hope you will be able to join us for our next concert (see below)


Brian Johnstone                     by Margaret Christie   Jamie Reid Baxter

POETRY AND MUSIC AT ROSSLYN CHAPEL on Friday the 22nd May at 7.30pm. 4 musicians and 3 poets combine to make this an unforgettable night in the beautiful surroundings of Rosslyn Chapelmiguda 2013 720x479. Brian Johnstone, Jamie Reid Baxter and Margaret Christie will read from their own works. All are pubished authors and Margaret Christie’s “The Oboist’s Bedside Book” was short listed for the Callum Macdonald Memorial Award. The evening is completed by the Miguda  Quartet playing Haydn. To find out more about the performers visit the events page here. Tickets are £8 (£6 for PCAA members) available on line or from our Gift Shop at 4 West Street.


Self portrait                       Alasdair

Aine Divine is the featured artist for May in the Cafe Gallery. Come and meet the artist on Wednesday the 6th of May between 7.00pm and 9.00pm when Aine will also give a 2 hour live portrait demonstration.

Refreshments will be provided for a small donation by Aine’s daughter, Hope. Hope is fundraising to send money to support a family in Malawi.

We hope you will be able to join us for this enjoyable evening.

You can see more images of Aine’s work here.


This year’s arts festival will run from the 5th to the 13th September. We have a busy programme planned but there is always room for more. If you, or a group you are associated with, would like to put on an event please call Jackie on 01968 675661.

Here is just a little taste of what is planned:

Music events include concerts by the Castaways, an a cappella group; The Fledgling Viol Group and local folk group Herken. The gala concert on Saturday the 12th September features Siobhan Miller with Aaron Jones supported by the classical guitar of The Scottish Guitar Duo and new kids on the block Liquid State.

Lectures and workshops: look out for the Samba Rhythm workshop for adults and a  singing workshop led by Siobhan Miller.  There will also be a lecture by Elizabeth Cumming on the Art and Craft Movement of the last century.

Exhibitions include the annual open exhibition and Penicuik Turner Prize. This year the judge is Damian Callan, a well known Edinburgh teacher, artist and author.  The exhibition in the cafe gallery will be by local textile artist Christine Finlayson. There will be a special exhibition of the schools’ environmental art project at various venues throughout the festival. We also hope to have open studios and other exhibitions.

More details on all these events will be on our website soon.



The AGM of the Association will be held at 7.00pm on Tuesday the 16th of June in the Arts Centre to receive the annual report and accounts.

The agenda can be seen here and further papers will be available on the website later.

We promise to keep the formal business as brief as possible and allow plenty of time for discussion and informal talks with the committee members. It is very rewarding to be involved with such an active organisation. Come along and find out more. We promise not to twist anybody’s arm!

FINALLY our friends in the Penicuik Community Development Trust have been short listed by building firm Jewson to receive a grant. This will allow them to progress their ambitious plans to set up a papermaking museum and gift shop at Pen-y-Coe Press. The next stage of the process depends on a public vote. If you would like to find out more about their bid and to vote for them click here.

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April News Bulletin

We were thrilled with the rich and varied performance Gerda Stevenson gave us in April with her imaginative self penned songs and with her wonderful band, which you can see here scaling mountains with their ecclectic instruments in this video. Our condolences go to her and her family for the passing of her father, the composer Ronald Stevenson.

We hope you will find something to interest you in our busy programme for April.


April 24th at 7.30pm: The Roxburgh String Quartet play works by Purcell, Mendelssohn and Mozart. The intimate atmosphere of the Arts Centre is the ideal setting to connect with the musicians and appreciate the essence of chamber music.

“Inspired music played with complete control, imagination and deep insight.”

Capture roxburgh


We expect it to be a busy night and recommend reserving tickets early. Tickets £12(£10 for PCAA members) are available from the craft shop or on line.


MAY 22ND at 7.30pm The Arts Assocation is hosting a poetry and music evening in Rosslyn Chapel. Henry Marsh, Margaret Christie and Brian Johnstone will read from their own works and music is by the Miguda Quartet. As usual the star of the show will be the Chapel, which is at its best when being used and enjoyed by people.

Tickets £8(£6 for PCAA members) will be available from the 25th of April.



April in the Cafe Gallery is an exhibition by Priscilla Brightman.This is Priscilla’s first solo exhibition with us. Priscilla trained at Edinburgh College of Art. She works mainly in oils depicting a variety of subjects from still life to portrait and landscape. The uniting theme of her work is colour; so expect a bright and cheery cafe for April.

Capture priscilla

There will be an opportunity to meet Priscilla on Sunday the 12th of April between 2.00pm and 4.00pm in the Cafe Gallery.

May in the Cafe Gallery will be by local artist Aine Divine. The exhibition opens on Wednesday the 6th of May from 7.00pm till 9.00pm. At the opening Aine will also demonstrate her technique of using watercolour.

Self portrait

 Aine specialises in portraits using watercolour and reached the final of the recent Sky Portrait Award Competition. Her work has been shown in the National Portrait Gallery in London.

Find out more about Aine here.



Self portrait by Aine Divine


The yarn group continues to meet every Wednesday in the cafe at 10.00am and have completed many UFO’s.

About a month ago we met to hear about Linus Quilts, a charity providing comfort quilts to children in hospital. This was followed by two practical workshops to start making some quilts for this very worthwhile cause. To date, two quilts are almost completed and two more are under construction.

For more details on these groups contact


Membership of the Association helps us to keep up the work of providing a dedicated arts and crafts centre in Penicuik. Membership is very reasonably priced at £15 per annum and £7.50 for concessions with a family membership of £25 per annum. Membership also entitles you to reduced entry fee to most of our events. To join pick up membership forms from the cafe at 4 West Street or join on line here

AND FINALLY, our friends at Howgate Art Club have their annual exhibition on Friday the 8th May from 4-8pm and Saturday 9th May from 11.00am-4pm in Howgate Village Hall.

On the 18th of April, also in Howgate Village Hall, from 11.00am-4.00pm there will be an exhibition of embroidery by Elizabeth Leary.

March News Bulletin


Welcome to this e-bulletin. We hope you have managed to visit us and have enjoyed the events and exhibitions in the Gallery Cafe and Arts Centre.
If you have missed our fabulous four February stars, the Swingettes, you can ee and hear them here on youtube now with some of the fun and fine pieces they did here:

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The cafe continues to offer delicious home baking, soups and toasties all at very reasonable prices and now the Craft Shop has re-opened after its winter break with an even bigger and better display of hand-crafted gifts and cards. The Craft Co-op running the shop has now got its own facebook page, too!
If that is not enough to tempt you to visit us here are a few of the events that we think will:
MARCH EXHIBITION in the Cafe is by local photographer Jon Redpath. His images of nature are beautifully framed and composed. They are full of light and atmosphere. What a way to enjoy your morning coffee: surrounded by all these wonderful images of our countryside!
Hay Lodge Park by Jon Redpath
Hay Lodge Park by Jon Redpath
GERDA STEVENSON: NIGHT TOUCHES DAY on Friday the 27th of March at 7.30pm at 4 West Street. We are delighted to welcome Gerda to the Arts Centre. She is known as an actress, director, story teller and singer-song writer. She was nominated as Scots singer of the Year in the MG Alba Scots Trad Awards  2014 and was also nominated as one of the Saltire Society’s Outstanding Women of Scotland in 2014. She has toured her own play, “Federer versus Murray” in New York.
click on image for more details of album
It is as a singer and song writer we are welcoming Gerda to the Art Centre. Along with her friends she will give an evening of original and well known songs from her new album “Night Touches Day” This collection is garnering rave reviews:
“Gerda’s theatre background shines through in timing and diction that make her storytelling lyrics all the more potent and entertaining.”.
Rob Adams
Pennyblack music
“‘Night Touches Day’ is such an accomplished work that one wonders why Stevenson hasn’t released an album before”
Malcolm Carter
Tickets for this concert are £10 (£8 for members of PCAA) are available at or from our Gift Shop from the 28th of February.


Friday April 24th the Roxburgh string quartet perform a programme of Purcell, Mozart and Mendelssohn.
Friday the 22nd May Henry Marsh and friends present an evening of poetry and music in Rosslyn Chapel.


Our annual festival of all the arts will run from the 5th to the 13th of September. We are delighted to say that the fees for the open art and craft exhibition have been frozen at last year’s rates: that is a hanging fee of £3 per item for non-members (£2 for members) and a commission rate of 25% for non-members (15% for members).
If you would like to help with the festival or want to put on an event as part of the festival contact Jackie on 01968675661.


Finally our YARN GROUP continues to meet on Wednesday mornings from 10.00am at 4 West Street. This is an informal group that meets to share expertise on knitting and all things to do with yarn (including “yarn” as in anecdotes and stories). Bring along your UFO’s, your experience and questions. Entry by donation.

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February News Bulletin

It was great to see so many friends and supporters at our recent concert in the Music hub featuring Wendy Carle Taylor and friends. The concert was a sell-out. Thanks to Penicuik High School and Penicik Folk Club who joined with us in promoting this event.

Enjoy the embedded slide show on the right here with the perfect pictures the wonderful Ioana Colfescu made of that night. And if  you click on the slide show the images will open in an extra tab in large size for you to scroll through.

And if you click on the link of her name you can admire more of her photographic work. We hope to have you exhibit your work at West Street as soon as the calendar allows.

The opening of the exhibition of paintings by David Owen on the 4th of January was also very successful and 6 lucky people managed to buy original works of art at very reasonable prices.

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We also would love it if you can use the comment function on this blog too, and to engage with us.


Volunteering with us: please get in touch if you have any time to offer.  Thank you.

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An exciting programme of events and exhibitions continues.

Here are some dates for your diary.



Friday 27th Feb at 7.30pm  Swing and sway with the SWINGETTES. Relax as this award winning a cappella quartet entertain with their close harmonies and swinging rythms. Tickets £8 (£6 for PCAA members) available from our craft shop or on

Swingette's publicity shot

 Friday, 27th March at 7.30pm : Gerda Stevenson is an actress, director, singer and song writer. She was nominated for Scots Singer of the Year in the 2014 MG Alba Trad Music Awards and she has also been nominated as one of the Saltire Society’s  Outstanding Women of Scotland. She has recently released a  highly acclaimed album “Night Touches Day”. This, her debut album, consists entirely of self-written material and it is notable for the quality of her vocal work, and for the storytelling skills in her wildly varied songs.

Gerda is accompanied by outstanding traditional musicians and we are looking forward to a hugely entertaining evening of song, music and banter. More info soon here.


Friday 24th April at 7.30pm The Roxburgh String Quartet present a programme of classical music: Purcell Three Fantasies; Mozart Quartet in G major and Mendelssohn op 13 in A minor. We are delighted to host this concert and expect it to be very popular. Tickets will be available from one month before the concert.

Friday 22nd May Henry Marsh is again presenting an evening of poetry and music in Roslin Chapel. More details available in next newsletter.


Sunday 1st February from 2.00pm till 4.00pm: Opening of Exhibition of prints and paintings by Gavin Johnston. Gavin presents an exciting body of work largely based round his experiences on Lewis. Refreshments will be available at the opening and all are welcome. The exhibition will then be open from 10.00am till 4.00pm every day except Sundays until the 28th of February.

During March the Cafe Gallery will display a selection of photographs by local photographer Jon Redpath.


Yarn Group

Wednesday mornings from 10.00am till midday, the Yarn Group meets. This group is interested in all things to do with yarn from spinning to knitting. Bring along your knitting or crochet to get encouragement, to complete a “U.F.O”,to get help with a woolly problem,to start a new project or to try out a new technique. Share your experience and even try out a new fibre craft.

Spinning classes.

2 weekend workshops are planned for those interested in spinning. On the 7th and 8th February there is a beginner’s spinning class and on the 28th of March a class suitable for those with some experience is plannned

For more information on these classes please contact Doreen by email at

Art Sparks


This popular art class for children runs from 1.30pm every Friday during term time: P1-P7 from 1.30pm till 2.30pm and P6 -S5 from 2.30pm till 3.40pm. Costs £4 per week. (no classes on 13th and 20th  February). For further information contact Alison Tait on 07981 368611



You may recognise this little chap from PEANUTS.  Linus Quilts is a nation-wide charity that takes its inspiration from Linus by making comfort quilts to give to children who are seriously ill in hospital. If you are interested in the work of the organisation or would like to become invoved by making quilts for this very worthwhile cause come along on Monday 23rd February at 2.00pm to hear about the charity. 2 further practical sessions are planned for the 9th and 23rd of March both at 2.00pm. Entry by donnation.


We are having a great spring clean of the Art Association on 22nd of February starting at 11.00am. We need help to move, clean and dispose of any unwanted articles: so if you have a spare hour on that day please come along with your dusters, buckets and mops.

Please note that the main focus of the clean will be the easel cupboard although if we get enough help we hope to do much more than that.  If you have any works of art or other articles in 4 West Street please remove them before the 22nd of February otherwise the cleaners may dispose of them. If you have any concerns about this or are unable to come to the centre before then please phone Jackie on 01968 675661 to discuss.



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October news bulletin




24th October  at 7.30pmTHE SONGS AND MUSIC OF SCOTLAND

presented by Eilidh Munro and Eilidh Steel. These 2 friends combine their musical talents to give an evening of songs in Gaelic and Scots. Tickets £8 (£6 for PCAA members) available from Craft Shop or from website.


8th  October to 17th October Midlothian Science Festival Events:

  • 8th October Lecture on Pollution and Climate Change
  • 11th October Practical Family Day of hands-on science from 11.00am till 3.00pm
    • has changed to Felt the Sky, with Crafts4All in the Townhall, 11.30am – 1.30pm
  • 15th October Energy from Air looks at the role of wind farms
  • 17th October An unusual evening of science in Music from Maxwell to Higgs followed by a lecture.

science fest poster oct 14

For more details of all these events and to buy tickets visit our website at



This is an opportunity for artists who would like to run art workshops in local schools. If this is something that intersts you please email



A book of children’s stories from the recent children’s writing competition is now available. This book will make a delightful Christmas present. Order by 7th October from the Gallery Cafe, West Street; Penicuik Library, or Pen-y-Coe Press for a special price of £8 or visit



PCAA needs help urgently to ensure the committee membership remains above 8 members as required by the constitution. If the committee falls below 8 it cannot function or make any decisions about running the Association. The committee meets at most once per month for 2 hours.


We also need volunteers to help with organising PENFEST 2015. This year the festival was very successful but relied on too few volunteers. Without more help, the committee will have to restrict PENFEST 2015 to running the Annual Arts Exhibition only.

(for images of PENFEST 2014 go to )

If you can help with either of these please contact Jackie McDonald at 01968675661.



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