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‘Moving Mountains’ – Mountain Festival art competition carries £3000 prize fund

The An Ealdhain Arts Trust’s first Open Art Competition, ‘Moving Mountains – the inspiration of landscape’, carries a £3000 prize fund with the winners being announced on 19 February. The competition exhibition will be held at The Lime Tree Gallery, Fort William, as part of the 2016 Fort William Mountain Festival programme.


The An Ealdhain Arts Trust have selected up to 50 of the best art works from entries received from artists from all over the world, including USA, Holland, France and Italy, for their first Open Art Competition – ‘Moving Mountains – the inspiration of landscape’. The inaugural competition showcases the best contemporary art inspired by the landscape and the works will be exhibited at The Lime Tree Gallery, Achintore Road, Fort William, from Saturday 20 February to Sunday 3 April 2016

From exuberant oil paintings to meticulous line drawings, and from humorous sketches to breathtaking photographs the art works have a wide breadth of appeal; not only demonstrating the highly individual response to the inspiration of landscape but also exhibiting great skill and quality.

The winning art works will be announced at the launch of the exhibition on Friday 19 February with the winner and two runners up sharing a total cash prize of £3000 (first prize – £2,000 and two runners up – £500 each).

This inspirational competition and exhibition, that is set to become an annual event in Lochaber’s cultural calendar, will be part of the Fort William Mountain Festival being staged in Fort William and Lochaber, The Outdoor Capital of the UK, from 17 to 21 February 2016.

The An Ealdhain Arts Trust, whose name means ‘the place of creativity’, is a Charitable Trust based in Lochaber. It is made up of a number or artists and art enthusiasts who are committed to bringing the highest quality art to the West Highlands and to enable it to be appreciated by communities and visitors within the landscape that inspired it.   The ‘Inspiration of Landscape’ is fundamental to the Trust’s vision and forms the theme of their first Open Competition and Exhibition.

Ian Peter MacDonald, Chairman of The An Ealdhain Arts Trust and Lochaber resident, said:

“The West Highlands of Scotland presents some of the wildest, remotest and most varied landscape in the UK, if not Europe. For centuries artists from Turner to Kokoschka have been inspired by the dramatic light and land of the West Highlands. The An Ealdhain Arts Trust has organised the Moving Mountains art competition to celebrate how contemporary artist’s respond to landscape.

“The Trust is delighted to be working in partnership with the Fort William Mountain Festival. It is an ideal event at which to open the competition. With the eyes of the world’s mountain communities focused on Fort William, we can make an excellent cultural contribution to this exceptional and increasingly popular celebration of the mountains and mountain culture.”

Jacqueline Watt, Artist and Trustee of An Ealdhain Arts Trust, said:

“Art and creativity is an ongoing process and in order for an artist to progress, they require new challenges. Our themed Open Art Competition offers them this opportunity, either through exploring a new subject matter, or even by fine tuning or adapting current ideas and thoughts.

“Artists cannot work in a vacuum. Feedback and external responses are essential and contribute to ongoing development in their practice. The competition exhibition offers the artists exposure and a platform that brings their work to new audiences, widens their market with the added potential of it being exhibited with other galleries and institutions.”

The An Ealdhain Arts Trust was formally launched in July 2015 with its first exhibition called A Window to the West taken from the Collections of the Royal Scottish Academy.  It proved a great success with a steady flow of visitors both local and from farther afield. To accompany the exhibition they hosted a talk by Dr Joanna Soden and held adult and youth workshops with the award-winning artist Kate Downie RSA.

The An Ealdhain Arts Trust’s 2016 programme of events will continue throughout the year and will include further exhibitions, workshops and lectures. For more information on The An Ealdhain Arts Trust go to the website:

Notes to Editors:

The Fort William Mountain Festival is a five day festival of uplifting talks from top mountain athletes and filmmakers, together with exhilarating film screenings; mountain skills workshops and exhibitions, that celebrates and promotes the understanding, appreciation and value of the world’s wild landscapes, its people and culture.


To find out more about the Fort William Mountain Festival 2016 go to:

Facebook –

Twitter – / #FWMF2016


The Lime Tree Gallery, Achintore Road, Fort William, PH33 6RQ.

Tel: 01397 701806 / Website:


Other Useful Websites:

Lochaber Chamber of Commerce –

Outdoor Capital of the UK-

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