Open Studios are great, if you haven’t been to one, you should.
What are Open studios?
Open studios are where and artist or group of artists open up the doors of their workspace to visitors.
They vary from a single artist opening their studio for an afternoon to groups of artists open for weeks in county wide events that require massive organisation, plus everything in between
Artists love them because they are a great way for artists to promote themselves in the local art world. I participate in Bucks Open Studios, our event covers Buckinghamshire and for 2 weeks in June, artist’s across the county arrange exhibitions of work and demonstrations everywhere from tiny studios in their home to full exhibitions in Galleries. For me, the experience has always been worthwhile but it’s not just the artists who benefit.
But it’s not just Artists who benefit, the visitors love them as well.
Some of the reasons why people love to visit open studios are:-
To see raw art in a massive variety of locations.
To see a variety of processes
Painting, drawing, metalwork, ceramics, wood carving, stone sculpting etc.
I’ve met people who arrange their holidays people to go around Open Studios. They find out when they are on, book accommodation and spend their time touring the venues.
Being nosy, to a point.
I’m sure some people only came to see me because I live in a converted chapel*, but that’s OK, I expected it. It’s part of the attraction.
Please be respectful of signs though, if a sign says PRIVATE or Do Not Enter then resist the urge to take a peak. Seems obvious, and I’m sure you wouldn’t, but I’m constantly surprised by visitors who think it’s acceptable to look into every room regardless.
Looking to Buy Art
Buying art takes time. There’s a lot of really fantastic work around but you need to see it. Open Studios are a way of meeting the artist at finding out more about the art and how it’s made.
Curious about art but find Galleries Scary.
The image of the pompous, elitist gallery owner who makes you feel inferior or tricks you into buying work you can’t afford is largely a thing of the past. The stereotype image still remains thought. If you’re new to art collecting in particular, the informal atmosphere of an open studio can be a good first step on the search.
To find out about an area.
Increasingly groups of artists in an area put together Art Trails. These are a great way to see an area, plus there’s a good change you might see art inspired by the local area and find the secret places that are often the most beautiful.
If you want to see how varied Open Studios can be, come and see our Buckingham Art Trail which is part of Milton Keynes Art Week, so new it hasn’t got a website yet!
Down load the trail map and come join us?
Next time I’ll share how to make the most of your open studios visit.
*BTW- if you come to see me at open studios now, it won’t be at the chapel, sorry.