Community life and leisure

Exciting opportunity for Stirling’s artists to design national music award

Artists and designers in the Stirling area will have the opportunity to create bespoke trophies for Scotland’s coveted national music prize – the Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award.

Exciting opportunity for Stirling’s artists to design national music award
Exciting opportunity for Stirling’s artists to design national music award

Stirling will host the prestigious event for the first time on Thursday 20 October, when artists, industry professionals, press and music fans will descend on the city.

To highlight the enduring links between music, art and design in Scotland, each year, The SAY Design Commission chooses an artist/designer/maker to create bespoke prizes for the bands and artists recognised at ceremony.

As part of The SAY Award’s partnership with Stirling, the artist or designer selected for 2022’s commission will be based in the Stirling Council area.  

The winner will be offered a fee of £2,500 for the design and manufacture (including materials) of the awards along with the use of studio space at the *Cowane Centre, a creative hub in Stirling city centre.

A short video package on the commission will be screened to all attendees at the ceremony, which will take place at The Albert Halls Stirling, before the prizes are presented to some of Scotland’s most outstanding musical talent.

From 18 August, expressions of interest are open for this exciting creative commission opportunity.

Fantastic opportunity

Convener of Stirling Council’s Community Planning and Regeneration Committee, Cllr Gerry McGarvey said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for Stirling’s local artists and designers to showcase their creativity and innovation on the national stage.

“The Stirling area is home to a thriving and dynamic creative scene, with an abundance of artistic talent, so I know there is going to be huge interest in securing this prestigious commission and some amazing entries.”

The SAY Design Commission’s theme is sustainability so they want to hear from artists/designers/makers developing innovative ideas and processes which focus on circular design, ethical considerations and a zero-waste approach.

Creative talent

Robert Kilpatrick, Creative Director of the Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA), said: “From flip books and ceramic bells to Jesmonite discs and handmade quilts, across the past 10 years, The SAY Design Commission has offered a creative and exciting complement to the award’s musical counterpart.

“We want to hear from artists, designers and makers based in the Stirling Council area, particularly from those who already embed sustainability into their creative practice.

“The SAY Design Commission offers a unique opportunity for a cross-artform collaboration which builds connections, showcases work and further highlights the strength and diversity of creative talent in Scotland. We look forward to reviewing expressions of interest and selecting the perfect fit for 2022’s commission.”

Glasgow-based studio Still Life (pictured) won last year’s commission, creating bespoke vases and engraved trays made from salvaged recycled materials.

Background info and picture details: 

* The Cowane Centre is a creative hub in Stirling City Centre. Home to a range of workshops and classes for adults and young people such as Painting with Peter Russell, and a variety of children’s art classes.

The centre also hosts adult and youth Ceramics classes, and houses its own kiln. As well as being an adult learning hub, The Cowane Centre has leasable artist studios home to a variety of visual artists, including Stirling’s Gossip Collective. In addition the centre is a community space used for talks and theatre events.

Pictures show the 2021 winners of the SAY Award Design Commission, Still Life, who used 21kg of waste plastic to create their prizes. Picture credit: Clair Irwin. Other images show the art studio at the Cowane Centre, Stirling.

The Scottish Music Industry Association

The Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA) is a not-for-profit trade body and membership organisation which exists to strengthen, empower and unite Scotland’s music industry.

As a Creative Scotland Regularly Funded Organisation (RFO), the SMIA work to create and nurture an inclusive membership community which reflects the full spectrum of Scotland’s music industry. We give voice to our membership when speaking to Government, Parliament and development organisations, and we both produce and support projects and programmes that stimulate sustainability, domestic and international growth, development and innovation in Scotland’s music sector. Our services, projects and events are designed to strengthen and increase the value of Scotland’s music industry on the world stage: economically, socially and culturally.

For further information on the SMIA and its services, projects and events please visit

To keep up with The SAY Award 2022 journey, make sure you follow the award on Twitter @SAYaward, Instagram @sayaward and Facebook @SAYaward (#SAYaward)