The Art School is a unique centre for music and the visual arts in Glasgow. International acts and those in the early stages of developing their practise will find that music, performance and visual arts are represented and nurtured here. Operating as a charity organisation, all profits generated go towards funding student activities and our charitable aims.
The Glasgow School of Art Students’ Association has existed since 1908. It was officially recognised by the Glasgow School of Art in 1941, prior to that the Assembly Building (the building’s original name) was built in 1927. Work was completed on the building in 1930 by the architects John, Keppie & Henderson.
The Assembly Building was made for all sorts of functions for the school, formal balls, parties, and graduation ceremonies. As the school expanded in the 1950s and 60s, it was used as architecture studios, a mezzanine was installed in the Assembly Hall to accommodate for more students. The space now known as the Vic Café & Bar was used as studios, accommodating the fashion and textiles department, this usage continued until the building of the Bourdon Building. Around the same time, the tenements on Renfrew Street were demolished to make way for the Newbury and Foulis buildings. The last phase of that redevelopment planned to demolish the Assembly Building, but the school ran out of money. It was at this stage that the school handed over the whole building to the Students Association, which at that time was based in the Haldane Building.
One of the first things to happen during the building’s occupation was to set up the Vic Café & Bar in the former textile studios. The project was undertaken by architecture students. The Vic Café & Bar was fitted with the remnants of the original Victoria Café on Victoria Road in the Southside of Glasgow, including the wood panel interior, seats, and the original stainglass and vitreous marble Victoria Cafe signage —which was reinstated in the cafe in 2014.
The next chapter of The Art School’s history was initiated by the development of the Reid Building. To make way for the new development the Newbury and Foulis buildings were demolished. Due to the demolition and the extensive work leading up to the opening of the Reid Building, The Art School closed its doors on Renfrew Street and moved to a temporary location on 54 Sauchiehall Street. Work was complete on the Reid Building in 2014, allowing for The Art School to open its doors once again atop Garnethill.