World Collage Day at MERZ offered the opportunity for curator Denise Zygadlo to bring to Scotland an exhibition from Ireland. Empty Columns: a place to dream was conceived by Ric Kasini Kadour for a festival in the mid Ireland town of Birr. With the local community arts centre in Sanquhar MERZ provided an outlet for... Read More

Photography in Place Residency at MERZ

CALL TO ARTISTS Photography in Place Residency A week-long, in-person residency at MERZ Gallery in Sanquhar, Scotland designed for artists working with photography who seek to engage with place in their practice. Using the rural community of Sanquhar, Scotland as a laboratory, artists will spend a week making artwork; learning about the place, its people,... Read More

Collage Artist Residency Scotland

CALL TO ARTISTS Collage Artist Residency: Scotland At MERZ Gallery in Sanquhar, Scotland. Designed by Kolaj Institute for collage artists, professional development sessions focus on artist practice: topics include Collage as Artist Practice; Sourcing Materials, Copyright, Appropriation; Developing Materials; Collage in Presentation. During the residency, artists will make an artwork that will be exhibited at... Read More

Kym Coratin : Artist in Residence

Kym Coratin is a student at the Open College for the Arts and was in residence from March through April. Kym wrote:- The opportunity to connect with other artists staying here – creatively and socially. Superb surroundings – inspiring/awesome landscape, wonderful walking area – a place to connect with nature – and train station 5... Read More

John Quirk & Helen Woolston : Play

John Quirk and Helen Woolston have been animators in residence at MERZ since mid-January. John is completing his masters at the Estonia Academy of Arts, from which Helen graduated recently. At MERZ they have been working with the Board Game Club centre at A’ the Airts community, developing puppetry and animation. Helen has been exploring... Read More

PLAY : John Quirk and Helen Woolston

John Quirk and Helen Woolston are animators in residence at MERZ, working with local kids and on their own projects. Their exhibition and films will be shown in the MERZ Gallery at the end of March. “Meet strange beings inspired by Crawick fungi! Test the first video-game set in a fantastical reimagining of Sanquhar!  See... Read More


A kitchen has recently been added to the Snug at MERZ. All the MERZ ‘domestic’ buildings are now self-contained, with bathroom and kitchen. MERZ offers a variety of studio spaces. When not in use for exhibition the MERZ gallery and Museum of Model Art provide additional working buildings while the No 5 residency has a studio... Read More


In the final months of his life Kurt Schwitters visited the MERZ barn at Elterwater to work on his installation. Kurt’s poor health, combined with the cold and wet conditions of Winter 1947, often limited his stay to an hour a day following the bus journey from his digs in Ambleside. Here are a few... Read More

John Quirk : MERZ Animator in Residence

John Quirk and Helen Woolston are animators in residence at MERZ. In this interview John outlines work with local children and introduces his video game based on Sanquhar. John and Helen will be exhibiting at MERZ at the end of March, including the public showcase of the Sanquhar Video Game.

Helen Woolston : MERZ Animator in Residence

Helen Woolston and John Quirk are animators in residence at MERZ. Helen’s a masters graduate of the animation school in Tallinn, Estonia. Here Helen outlines the work she’s been undertaking while in residence and her plans for screenings and an exhibition with John at the end of March.

Olivia Irvine & Linda Kosciewicz : Oursels as ithers see us

Olivia Irvine, Michele Marcoux and Linda Kosciewicz were artists in residence at MERZ in Spring 2021. Their group exhibition provided the focus; to look in from the ‘outside’. Coincidentally these three explorations at MERZ addressed our Winter Exhibition theme, in a less obvious way: as ‘local portraits’. Unfortunately the Covid upsurge imposed post-Christmas restrictions on visitors.... Read More

MERZ RESIDENCIES : New Accommodation for 2022

During the pandemic MERZ has been extending its residency accommodation adding extra self-contained residencies, museum and studio spaces to the original Bothy and MERZ Gallery. The Tadpole residency building features a wood-burning stove, a king-size loft bed and a large shower in its en suite: ideal for a couple as well as single. Tadpole has... Read More

MERZ Animation Workshop : 29th January

Hosted by John F Quirk and Helen Woolston: “A screening of unorthodox animation, in both style and slant. Animation is punk. Animation is personal. Join us for a sampling of rough, unpasteurised, scratchy, and tricky and strange shorts, from Estonian birthday parties to Czech shoe-eating to Japanese bird shit.” Animators from South West Scotland are... Read More