THEY are the climax of years of intense learning, hard work, friendship, skill and art.

The artworks of hundreds of students in Scotland will go on show to the public this weekend, as at the Glasgow School of Art - in its new Stow Building - and Edinburgh College of Art, degree shows are put on display to their families, friends, and the general public.

In video art, sculpture, painting, design, and more, students in both cities put on shows that are the culmination of their training and the art institutions.

In Glasgow, the school of Fine Art is shown over five floors of the new refurbished Stow Building, a large building near the M8 which opens to students in September, while the design school exhibition is spread over six floors of the Reid Building, and architecture students and MFA shows are also on display from June 1.

The exterior of the Reid Building, shorn of its glass panels, tells the story of a tumultuous year for the GSA: they were removed after being damaged in the disastrous Mackintosh Building fire of last June.

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It is understood it will be some time before the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service issue their official report into the causes of the blaze: there are still areas of 'the Mack' building that investigators wish to probe.

Art on show in the buildings includes a striking film work, with shadowy bodies falling in front of two screens, by a Master of Design student which addresses his coming to terms with his experiences of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in his home town of New York.

Eli Lavett, who was seven at the time, and his family lived in the Tribeca area of the city when the World Trade Center collapsed.

He said: "It's scary to show the work, it's such a personal thing: art carries this connotation for some people of beauty or an anaesthetic, but this is not what I am trying to do - I am not trying to beautify, it is more like a big diary entry for me, that is being put on display, and coming to terms with the things that I saw.

"I know it won't be for everyone, but thankfully it has been received well so far, but yes it is a terrifying thing to show it."

He added of the Degree Show experience: "It's a culmination of years of hard work, of upheaval - the fire - and I think it means a lot that we finally got here, and we have amazing work to show and we are all so proud."

The many Stow Building shows include glass and iron work by Almudena Rocca, knitted masks by Philipa Carruthers and a large work, using painted remote controls, by Shilei Fan.

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Elsa Parker and Bryony Douthwaite both presented eye-catching film works in the show, and Ms Parker said: "I feel like its the climax of four years of our education: there is a lot of pressure building up to it, it sometimes feels that all four years are leading to this."

Ms Douthwaite added: "While it is a culmination, is also a beginning, of leaving the art school and going out into the art world, so it is exciting too."

Professor Irene McAra-McWilliam, director of the Glasgow School of Art, said: "Degree Show is always one of the high points of the academic year.

"It is a chance to celebrate and share with the world the creative output of over 500 students from across the Schools of Architecture, Design, Fine Art and Innovation and demonstrates the important role that creativity plays in addressing some of the complex questions facing society today."

She added: "While many choose to stay in Glasgow to launch their careers, extending the city’s global creative reach and reputation, many others move across the world as part of the GSA’s global creative network and reinforce our position as one of the world’s leading art, design and architecture institutions."

In Edinburgh, a sculpted goat surrounded by colourful balls, a ransacked bunker and a playground made with found objects are among the artworks at the ECA's degree show.

There, work from 38 degree programmes are on display – including architectural models, animated films, photography, textiles, jewellery and interior design.

Stockpiling is the focus of Gabrielle Gillott’s immersive artwork - piles of empty cans fill her bunker installation, which simulates what the end of the world might look like when resources run out, while Lauren Holehouse uses newspapers for her work.

Outfits designed by final-year performance costume students are on display in the Sculpture Court.