An artists' academy that does not answer to politicians or Creative Scotland could provide a way out of the crisis engulfing Scotland's national arts body, one of its architects has claimed.

Anne Bonnar , the former transition director of Creative Scotland from the merger of Scottish Screen and the Scottish Arts Council, said a formal way of recognising and supporting artists would create a healthier climate, give them national status and "bring them in from the cold".

Creative Scotland distributes £80 million lottery and Scottish Government funding and is at the centre of a crisis which escalated last week when a letter signed by 100 artists was delivered to chairman, Sir Sandy Crombie.

While admitting Creative Scotland's early years had been difficult, Ms Bonnar said Scotland could draw lessons from Ireland's arts world. The Aosdana, an affiliation of artists established in 1981 which pays stipends to selected artists, could provide inspiration for a Scottish academy of artists.

The group, which would also be a powerful lobbying body, would be entirely separate from Creative Scotland and could provide "time-limited allowances" for chosen artists of all kinds, from writers to artists, choreographers, playwrights, dancers, directors, composers, musicians, poets and singers.

A similar idea, for authors and poets, was also suggested in the Literature Working Group report of 2010, since largely shelved by Creative Scotland.

Ms Bonnar, director of Bonnar Keenlyside consultants, said: "Establishing a national artists' academy with a role in national cultural leadership could bring artists in from the cold and allow more balanced and considered setting of cultural policy.

"In addition, increased fiscal autonomy could be used to provide a time-limited allowance for artists and creative workers to develop their work, with tax incentives or a creative enterprise allowance.

"This would loosen the singular dependence on Creative Scotland and create a more balanced system for artistic and cultural leadership in Scotland."

She added: "Alternative structures involving artists would signal Government recognition of their importance and reduce the singular focus on what is just one part of the cultural landscape."

The academy, she said, would be separate from Creative Scotland and hopefully imbued with more gravitas and its independence and influence would be strengthened by the reputations of the artists chosen to be in it, which would be "leading and eminent".

Its primary purpose would be to "recognise artists as leaders in Scotland's civic society" but it would have to be established with "a transparent process" with an administration "as light as possible".

In Ireland, the Aosdana was set up in 1981 to honour artists whose "work has made an out-standing contribution to the arts in Ireland, and to encourage and assist members in devoting their energies fully to their art".

It offers a stipend, calls a Cnuas, worth €17,180 or around £13,800 as an annual grant lasting for five years. Membership is granted through peer nomination and election, is limited to 250 artists who have produced a distinguished body of work, and has a current membership of 246.

Artists have taken issue with Creative Scotland's funding policies, notably its removal of fixed term Flexible Funding to more than 40 companies and its controversial "commissioning" role. They are also critical of the use of business jargon, its structure, the style of communication with artists, and some PR blunders, including Sir Sandy's lengthy initial response to the artists' letter last week.

The artists letter said the body was guilty of "ill-conceived decision-making, unclear language" and a "lack of empathy and regard for Scottish culture."