Open Studios – get out there and meet some artists, see some art!

Jenny working during 2010 Open Studios
Jenny working during 2010 Open Studios

Living in Buckinghamshire, we’re taking part in Bucks Open Studios, superbly organised by the gallery-owning dynamo that is Trisha Woodcock.

If you’ve not been to an Open Studio before (and there are loads of Open Studios events all over the country at different times throughout the year), then put simply it’s an art event when artists invite the public in to their working space to see what they do, and find out about what it’s like being an artist.

This is a much more direct way of  seeing art and finding out how it’s created than visiting a gallery, as the main principle is that the artist is present during the Open Studio!

However, we’ve always been aware of the argument that says an Open Studio should take place in the working environment, to give people a genuine flavour of the artistic life. But what if you work from home, as many of us do, and what if you’re uncomfortable with strangers wandering around in your house, or if the space is just not suitable?

Well, in previous years, Jenny and I (Vitreus Art Stained Glass) have hired a hall or a meeting room with other artists and put on a show.

Some artists tell us this isn’t a real ‘Open Studio’.
We’ve always been very clear, though,  that we’d be doing demos, running hands-on sessions for anyone that wanted to try a bit of glass cutting, or encaustic wax painting, or whatever.
We feel this is much more involving than opening a studio and letting people wander around, without any artistic work taking place.

It’s always been our belief that demonstrating what we do is good for us as it shows our competence, it helps to communicate the complexity and time involved in making a piece, and our visitors have always seemed interested in learning more.

So we’re especially pleased that the organisers of Bucks Open Studios have  identify the venues where artists will be working or demonstrating by including an ‘artistic endeavour’ flag alongside the web and printed directory entries for those artists that will be working, even if they’re not in what we’d recognise as a studio. Hurrah!

This year we’ll be exhibiting and demonstrating outside my (Mike’s) house, under cover. We’ll be able to show you what we do, what’s involved and let you have a go if you’re so inclined.

There are several other artists in Bucks we know well whose studios are well worth visiting too – so we hope that if you live in or around Buckinghamshire you’ll get out and see some art. And some artistic endeavour!

Julie Lue – Painting – Wendover
Jeremy White and Godfrey Thorpe – Ceramics – Wendover
Laura Boswell – Printmaking – Winslow
Jessica Ecott – Fused glass – Haddenham
Ros Long (By Hand Books) – Bookmaking – Stoke Mandeville

Hope to see you out there….


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