Cultural engagement

The unveiling of a stunning portrait of Chancellor Dr Annie Lennox OBE, commissioned by the University and painted by Scottish artist Gerard Burns, was one of the highlights of another memorable year of cultural events and activities.

Seeing the oil for the first time, Chancellor Lennox said: "I’m honoured to be included in the tradition of having my portrait painted. Gerard Burns has done a stalwart job."

The breathtaking archive of iconic photographer Oscar Marzaroli was presented by his family to the University. 

Fifty thousand images – most never seen before – documenting dramatic social change and the lives of ordinary people across decades were presented to the GCU Archive by the Scots Italian photographer’s daughters. 

Deacon Blue singer Ricky Ross – whose Raintown album cover brought Marzaroli’s work to a new audience in the 1980s – helped launch a fundraising campaign at GCU  to allow the entire collection to be made freely available to all online.

Celtic Connections on Campus kicked off our packed year of cultural events and activities in January. Our annual celebration of the best of emerging student talent on stage and behind the scenes once again attracted hundreds of music lovers to a week of concerts to hear performers from across the UK, supported by GCU’s BSc Audio Technology and BSc Audio Systems Engineering students.

And we brought an extra slice of Vienna’s celebrated coffeehouse culture to campus when we expanded our Coffee, Cake and a Concert series. We teamed up with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland to bring the cream of its musicians to the campus and our own choir joined some of its finest singers for a spirited, sold-out performance of Trial by Jury in the first of our Coffee, Cake and a Choir series.

At our GCNYC campus, we celebrated Tartan Week with an exhibition of the work of renowned Scots painter Ethel Walker-Murray. Twelve of her landscapes brought a breath of bracing Argyll air to the city’s annual Tartan Week.

And Oor Wullie brought his Big Bucket Trail to GCU as we joined Scotland’s biggest art trail to raise funds for the country’s children’s hospitals. Bucket List – one of 150 life-size statues of Wullie set up 'hame; on campus.