Glasgow International 2016 Openings: Booze Guide

A rundown of Glasgow International's first weekend opening extravaganza, with an eye on the free beers, wines and whiskeys promised around the city. GI 2016: one beer at a time

Feature by Adam Benmakhlouf | 30 Mar 2016

Thursday  7 April City Centre

Free wine and beer aplenty for the punctual, so time your art crawl right if you're planning on that feel good GI openings' buzz. Early afternoon previewing and swallying starts in the Savoy Centre (1-3pm), with Glasgow International 2016 starting in earnest with exhibitions World of Interiors and I Open Sometimes.

Over the road and up the hill a bit, in Fireworks Ceramics from 2-5pm, there's a temporary ceramic grocers The Vegetable Store.  Continuing the afternoon segment of the crawl, it's on to The Glue Factory (3.30-8pm) for a variety of open call applicants as part of Rough House. With most of these exhibits being part of the supported programme, expect a fair spread of decent booze.

Hitting 5pm, Glasgow School of Art hosts the opening and later performance by multimedia artist Serena Korda (5-8pm). The drinks selection will likely be wine-centric, though this is of course speculation only.

Heading a little onwards to the CCA, there is an overview of Pilvi Takala's work which sees her strategically blend into various institutions, whether offices, theme parks or public streets (7-9pm). Staying in CCA, there's also The Polity of Φ, that last symbol referenicing  floating nomadic country without landmass to which visitors may apply for a visa, and which is manifested by an intergalactic vessel.

More performance and wine by the glass down the hill and through city centre towards GoMA with the opening of both Germany-based Cosima von Bonin's and Edinburgh-based Tessa Lynch's respective exhibitions (5-7.30pm). Both artists share an interest in the sculptural, while von Bonin extends her exhibition to include collaborations with international performers and musicians.

Some more presumptious guesswork as von Bonin and Lynch are part of the Director's Programme, and possibly rounding-off the night of openings, there could be some special refreshments planned for GoMA.

Friday 8 April


Friday's all about the evening. While most of the openings are neatly set out in handy area-specific lots, Friday night has parallel central and Southside events. Scotland Street School Museum presents a retrospective of Scottish-French artist Raoul Reynolds (b. Glasgow 1882, d. NY 1969), whose idiosyncratic work often manifested its context of extreme social change from 5-8pm.

Moving further south, Tramway's presenting the largescale group show of artists who work with concepts of fabrication, craft and the post/industrial, curated by GI Director Sarah McCrory and Glasgow mainstay Martin Boyce (6-9pm). 

Keep up the energy, and short quick visits. Head to Queenspark Railway Club from Tramway and Scott Street, for Stewart Home's exhibition (7-9pm). He took the time to discuss the influences of Re-Enter the Dragon, including the counterfeit Bruce Le, Lai and Lis. From the Railway Club, the vibe is likely to sway towards fairly nice beers. Either on the way to QRC or back into town, hit up 2/2B 258 Kenmure Street for group show Salon Sebastian Monteux for a group show of emerging artists, and no doubt some refined refreshments.

South of the River

Still South of the River, there are openings around Carlton Place and Nicholson Street. In 42 Carlton Place, the gallerists/residents/artists Carol Rhodes and Merlin James present the work of some research into the relatively obscure painter Louis Michel Eilshemius, who crafted what might be consdired a naïve or outsider aesthetic, though from a position of extensive artistic training (5-8pm).

Toby Christian's expanded sculptural practice is paired with Duncan Marquiss' drawing and videos to explore the residual past of 16 Nicholson Street, round the corner from 42 Carlton Place (6-9pm). Down the road in Oxford House, 80 Nicholson Street, previewing 6-9pm there is a show of the artist practice of 42 Carlton's Carol Rhodes, as well as collagist Kevin Hutcheson and a site specific work from artist Kate V Robertson.

In the space of the architects Stellar-Brand, there's likely to be some not-too-shabby drinks available, with a slightly higher chance of non-arts professional people in attendance.

City Centre

Saying all that, there's enough to be kept busy in the City Centre on Friday night. Beginning early, there are the openings in Trongate 103 from 5-7pm. Glasgow Print Studio has been known to put on a nice whisky, but whether that was a one-off, who can tell.

Nicolas Party's work will be in the main space, last seen in these parts in his stunning show in The Modern Institute in 2013.  Speaking of which, from 5-8pm, TMI presents two openings, one in their Osborne Street space, of artist duo Joanne Tatham and Tom O'Sullivan. For this show, they have created black and white photos of Glasgow artists in their studios, as well as an anthology of texts from the two decades of their work together.

Then in Aird's Lane from 6-8pm, there is Warsaw-based Monika Sosnowska, whose sculpture is usually site sensitive, responding to the politics and psychology of a space. From Glasgow's most well-known commercial gallery, it's safe to expect one or two varieties of nice beers.

You might want to loop around Koppe Astner's presentation of artist Leila Hekmat's play The French Mistake (5-9pm), and Mary Mary's exhibition of paintings by Emily Mae Smith (6-9pm).

Then, for finishing of the evening there's either Avant Garde Music Bar, with the installation of a lounge by artists Urara Tsuchiya and Zoe Williams. There's also in this same space new work from art filmmaker Henry Coombes on the topic of a Glasgow therapist and amateur artists obsessed with the work of Sidney Nolan.

Until 1am, there's also the first night of Fantom Cinema, whose programme is available here. Set in the Old Hairdressers, it's a nice last stop with a nice selection of sensibly priced drinks in its bar downstairs, and across from Stereo.

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Saturday 9 April


Saturday starts with Mandy McIntosh's Hap Up Easterhouse, a collaboration with the young people from Platform's adjoining college building. For those starting the day early, the preview is 1-5pm, and the cafe in Platform would be a good food stop before making your way into the evening.

On the way into town, there are openings in Dennistoun's Hanson Street WASPS spaces, with immersive cartoon structure of Andy Holden's multi-screen film work (6-9pm).

Then in Bridgeton's Crownpoint Studios, there are three shows opening, showcasing its studioholders (5-9pm). Staying around the area, David Dale Gallery presents a solo and group show across its main and woodwork spaces (6-9pm).

In their new space in the Barras Market, Telfer Gallery present new commissions from London-based video, performance, sculpture and installation artist Sam Smith. Slightly off the beaten-track and mostly in artist-run spaces, there's likely to be plenty of hospitality available in these East events (6-9pm).

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More from Glasgow International:

 Stewart Home: The Unquotable Interview

 Director Sarah McCrory introduces the Glasgow International 2016 programme


The focus shifts away from the Centre on Friday, with events in the GSA Tontine Building, Transmission and Many Studios. From 12-6pm in the GSA building, there is an open studios event by the MLitt students.

Later from 6-9pm, Many Studios previews their exhibition of two contemporary Peruvian artists Fátima Rodrigo and Santiago Roose. From Transmission, there is work by Sidsel Meineche Hansen who "produces exhibitions, interdisciplinary seminars and publications that foreground the body and its industrial complex as part of institutional critique." Billing the preview as 'til late', Transmission might be a good endpoint for the night.


There's a whole schedule of activities for Saturday afternoon and evening in the West of the city. Starting in the Hunterian Museum, from 12-2pm there's a group show on the subject of art and science, with Damien Hirst being shown alongside Scotland-based Catherine Street and Glasgow-based Scott Rogers.

Then in Hillhead, there's a collaborative show in the library taking on what they consider as a staid trend in exhibiting. An archive of all the failures and sketches leading to the exhibition will be regularly rehung and presented alongside a programme of workshops and events. They preview from 2-5pm.

The Common Guild opens up their new exhibition of drawing, photography and film from Lebanese artist Akram Zaatari. Spending 15 years living through war in Lebanon, and recording it as a teenager is a direct influence on Zaatari's interest in the documentary form. As well as a social-historical take on international politics, there's also likely to be some extra-special refreshments from TCG.

Also opening from 3-5pm, it's another library-set show. This time it's the spectacular Mitchell Library and the painters George Ziffo and Jacob Kerray. Also around this time from 3-6pm, there's the preview of new video work from Icelandic Glasgow-based Baldvin Ringsted, drawing on the influence of American East Coast trash metal music.



The Director's Programme preview from 5-8pm on Saturday presents a site-specific show from Claire Barclay, responding to the archive and shifting uses of the Kelvin Hall space housing her work. Also in this venue, there is a show from painter Helen Johnson, who presents large scale works intended to be presented in ways that they obscure and frustrate one another, and with the backs in plain view with sketches and notes for the work on the reverse side.

A bit closer to the Clyde, there's a sculpture show on the changing relationship between the artist and the plaza in SWG3, previewing from 5-8pm. Also in this venue, there's Time Regained, the first solo show of 20th century artist-filmmaker Don Levy. Between the emerging artist group show and supported programme artist retrospective, there's likely to be a nice set-up of drinks and chat.

Also opening from 5-8pm, there are group shows across Skypark, 1 Royal Terrace and New Glasgow Society – all from 5-8pm. 1RT presents an -scape, a revision of art's relationship with the landscape and a rejection of its romanticism. Continuing the booze enquiry into GI, 1RT is likely to have a good drinks option.

Skypark hosts two different groups shows, a public art project and a solo show. There will be plenty to see and likely four shows' worth of welcome drinks. In the New Glasgow Society, there's an exhibition on the history of the ice cream trade in Glasgow, so hopefully there'll be a Pokey Hat or two going around to live up to the exhibition title. Whatever happens, there's promise of an ice cream night and slumber party on Saturday 23 April from 6.30pm.


In the South, Glasgow art band Still House Plants perform in Kinning Park Complex from 6-8pm, within an installation of text, sculpture and image. Their obscured melodies and minimal song structures set up the ground for audience and object interaction. After Thursday and Friday, they'll put on a mellow gig with beer, or tea on hand in KPC.

Sunday 10 April

In Bellahouston Park (12-3pm), four new shows open from artists including the bright strange spaces and figures of painter Gabriella Boyd, paired with the found-object sculptor and installation artist Marco Giordano who constructs staged domestic environments. There is also new work from Glasgow-based artist Corin Sworn, working with Glasgow design label Trakke who make an enquiry in Glasgow's industrial past. 

Tuesday 12 April

Rounding off the openings, there is the prison art exhibition Third Hand in CCA. Work has been brought together from several art programmes, and includes painting and sculpture. In two of the works, as a collaborative exercise, the participants filled in different parts of paintings from art history, replacing the figures with pop culture personalities. It's promising to be an interesting show, and CCA might also be a nice last destination point for the big opening weekend, as Third Hand previews from 5-9pm.