Local MSP Gil Paterson says that he was delighted to meet artists from the Centro Arte Club of Corigliano-Rossano, Italy, last week. The group, which included a representative from Corigliano-Rossano Municipality, staged a joint exhibition with Clydebank’s Wee Scottish Art Group at the Backdoor Gallery in Dalmuir.
Mr Paterson discussed how close relations between West Dunbartonshire and Corigliano-Rossano can be encouraged and strengthened for the benefit of both communities.
Mr Paterson heard how City Council member of Corigliano-Rossano Municipality, Mr Tiziano Caudullo, has written to West Dunbartonshire Council’s Provost Hendrie and Baillie Denis Agnew to explore opportunities for friendship and cooperation between the two communities. The Italian Honorary Consulate in Glasgow was among those who have visited the prestigious exhibition.
The Wee Scottish Art Group have been in touch with Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce to explore the best way to capitalise on the links with Corigliano-Rossano and Mr Paterson has submitted a motion to the Scottish parliament marking the event.
Speaking about the groups’ visit and the art exhibition, Mr Paterson said:
“This is a fantastic initiative which really promotes cultural, economic and social links between Clydebank and Calabria.
“Art in all its guises helps us form friendships, highlight what we have in common and celebrate our differences.
“With all the negativity stemming from Brexit it is gratifying to see the unifying power of culture in action right here on our doorstep.
“Members of the Wee Scottish Art Group are to be thanked and congratulated for getting the message out there that Clydebank and Scotland are open for business and that we very much welcome links with our European friends.
“Initiatives such as this provide tremendous opportunity not just for our artistic community but for local businesses, for our schools and social groups as well.
“I was delighted that the group brought the sunshine with them from Italy, so they could enjoy the beauty of Scotland in pleasant weather.”
The collaboration between the two groups follows The Wee Scottish Art Group’s very successful trip to the European May festival in Italy last spring. At the prestigious festival the Clydebank group flew the flag for Scotland and West Dunbartonshire by joining Centro Arte in an exhibition of art, photography, theatrical performances, Scottish music, dancing and traditional food and drink.
The Chairman of the Wee Scottish Arts Group, Salvatore Volpe, came to live in Clydebank from Corigliano-Rossano in the Calabria Region of Italy 10 years ago. He has been the driving force in establishing a relationship of collaboration between his old community in Italy and his new community in Clydebank
During their stay the Italians visited Glasgow University and the Hunterian Museum, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Loch Lommond. They also took a tour of the Auchentoshan whisky distillery and sampled a traditional fish and chip tea.
The exhibition is free to view and runs until 28th September,