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Sam Ainsley is an artist and teacher and until recently was Head of the MFA Programme at Glasgow School of Art. She has forged a remarkable career within the visual arts sector nationally and internationally. From 1985-1991 she taught on the Environmental Art programme under David Harding’s leadership when she co-founded the Master of Fine Art course and was the programme Director from its inception until 2006. She currently teaches part-time in Painting and Printmaking at GSA.
She is a respected and published spokeswoman for the visual arts and her own artwork is in a number of public and private collections nationally and internationally. Ainsley has contributed to a broad range of visual art initiatives in Scotland and has served as a Board member on The Scottish Sculpture Trust, The Arts Trust of Scotland, and many others. She was appointed to the Council of the Scottish Arts Council in 1998 and Chaired the Visual Art Committee at the SAC for two terms of office. Her extensive International travel and invited role as a visiting artist and curator have enhanced her informal position as an “International Ambassador” for Scottish Art and Artists.
She has exhibited in and curated independent exhibitions and undertaken residencies in numerous institutions and arts organisations across the USA, Australasia, Europe and the UK. She remains an external advisor to many MFA courses including Liverpool John Moores & Newcastle University and is the Visitor to the Royal Academy Schools. Recent presentations of her work include ‘New Scots’, RSA Edinburgh, 2008 and a recent two person show “Atlas of Encounters” at I Space Gallery, Chicago in February 2009.