Remembering inspirational art from Alma

Alma Smith
Alma Smith

The funeral took place in Kirkcaldy on Thursday of Alma Smith, a hugely inspirational and popular retired art teacher, who worked at Kirkland and Buckhaven High Schools.

Alma, who passed away last month, aged 74, was renowned for her expertise in the Indonesian batik style of art and well known for her vibrant character and “joie de vivre”.

Born in Leven, the former Alma Cook taught at Kirkland High School in the 1960s, followed by a spell as a visiting teacher at primary schools in Glenrothes and north east Fife.

She spent around five years in the 1970s at Buckhaven High School before being promoted in 1979 to assistant head of art at Bell Baxter High in Cupar. In the late 1980s, she became head of art at Madras College in St Andrews, staying until 1996.

Alma then moved to Ettrickbridge in the borders, where she ran the Jeansburn Gallery, a popular exhibition venue. She returned to Fife in 2007 and lived in Auchtermuchty.

Alma was also a Higher marker with the Scottish Qualifications Authority for around four years in the 1990s, a post she greatly enjoyed.

Former head of art at Kirkland, Jennifer di Folco, told the Mail: “She was a huge personality and an inspiration to everybody – teachers, friends and pupils.”

Alma, whose first husband, Bill Smith, died in 1985, is survived by a brother, a sister, and her son Kevin.