Mary’s Meals is an international movement to set up school feeding projects in communities where poverty and hunger prevent children from gaining an education. Mary’s Meals provides daily meals in school for over 350,000 children in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe.

“Artists for Mary’s Meals” held an exhibition in aid of Mary’s Meals at Macgregor Fine Art, 34 West George Street, Glasgow, from 5th to 12th September 2009, showing works from some of Scotland’s most renowned artists, including Tom Shanks, Jolomo, Emma Davis, Briony Anderson, Charles Jamieson, Hugh Murdoch, Robert Mulhern, Rosaleen Orr, Douglas Davies, Hazel Nagl, Victoria Maxwell Macdonald, David Smith, Tim Pomeroy, Hamish and Iona Montgomery and many many more – 50 artists, in total, delivered their stunning works of art for the show.

At the opening of the exhibition

At the opening of the exhibition

There were 150 paintings, drawings, prints and mixed media pieces on the walls, totalling some £103,000.00 in gallery prices. The visitors were dazzled and delighted. All the artists donated at least 50% of their sales to Mary’s Meals and some donated 100%. The gallery owner, Iain Macgregor, waived his commission to make it possible. The generosity of all the participants was inspiring, especially during the “credit crunch.” Organisations such as RAD, LIDL, Saint Mungo Music, and also the Twists and Turns Celtic Supporters Club helped with printing, stationery and refreshments.

Sales over the week-long exhibition totalled around £13,000.00!

Paintings, drawings, prints, cards and a popular Lucky Draw for a beautiful giclee print of a John Cunningham seascape, donated by Iain Macgregor, attracted the visitors, who were also entertained to a programme of live music recitals throughout the week. Harp, classical guitar, cello, violin, jazz, and songs from the shows provided a delightful ambience for enjoying the pictures. The visitors were given a warm personal welcome and refreshments were on hand.

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Abeer Macintyre, former BBCTV presenter, and now Lead Fundraiser for Mary’s Meals, welcomed the Press to a special Preview on the Thursday before the opening, and BBC Alba filmed some interviews which screened later that night.

On Saturday 5th September, Iain Macgregor welcomed the guests to his gallery. Monica Lynas, Financial Director of Mary’s Meals thanked all concerned, and Archbishop Mario Conti formally opened the exhibition. The Archbishop praised not only the quality of the works on view, but the generosity and compassion of the artists in supporting this great cause.

Jimmie Macgregor, whose own Glasgow School of Art background led him into the world of folk music, and then into a memorable series of television documentaries in the mountains of Scotland, was there to support the event and talk to the visitors.

“Artists for Mary’s Meals” began with a simple request for help from the Mary’s Meals Fundraising Officer at the Craig Lodge Headquarters. Netta Ewing and Lorna Hutcheson, both with backgrounds in the public sector and the arts, began to talk to some of their friends about running an exhibition in aid of the charity. A chance encounter with Iain Macgregor at his exhibition in the SECC resulted in his generous offer of free gallery space for a week. Then the process of gathering support from the Scottish artists began. The response was overwhelming.

There is no doubt that the enthusiasm for Mary’s Meals stems not only from our natural concern for the plight of hungry children, but also from the certainty that these donations will definitely reach their proper destinations. This is achieved because Mary’s Meals works always with, and through, volunteers, from “Artists for Mary’s Meals” in Glasgow, from the 5000 other Scottish volunteers, to their fellow workers around the world including 7,000 volunteers in Malawi alone.

Netta Ewing, who headed the team of organisers, was delighted with the sales result. “I hope we have made enough money to build a kitchen at a village school somewhere in the world where children are in need. We now hope to have a sale of drawings, prints and cards at Mary’s Meals Open Day in the Coupar Institute on 28th November, and we are beginning to plan a CD too. Many hands make light work, and this is happy work. We know our group of workers will expand.”

For further information, contact Netta Ewing tel: 0141.427.3245 or email netta.ewing@yahoo.co.uk