Home is where the art is…
Open Studios aren’t anything new. Sometimes also called Open Houses, artists have been opening their studios [and homes] to visitors for years. However, the trend for formalised Open Studio trails seems to be increasing year on year. This could be a reflection on the times we live and the current state of the economy, the decrease in galleries and gallery owners less inclined to try out new and untested artists, or it could just be that artists are more switched on and more organised now, with the internet facilitating easier and cheaper direct communication with the audience.
Whatever the reason, it’s great for those of us who thrive on the creative side of life and the surrounding spectacle, because Open Studios aren’t just a chance for artists to sell work. They are also an opportunity for artists to engage in conversations about their art directly with the public and for the public to catch a glimpse of both their unique process and their world; a real “fly on the wall” experience.
They facilitate a much more intimate “show and tell” art experience for all involved and one I personally highly recommend.
Spring and early Summer are peak season for Artists Open House and Studio events.
Some examples of forthcoming events in the southeast region:
- Dover Print Fest 26 – 28 May
- South East Open Studios 9 – 25 June
- Surrey Open Studios June
- South East Artists 1 – 16 July
- Worthing Open Houses 17 June – 2 July
- Artwave, Lewes 19 Aug – 3 Sept
- East Kent Artists Open Houses 14 – 29 October
- Horsham Artists Open Studios 8 – 16 July and Art Fair 21 – 22 October
So here are my top 3 reasons why I think you should also consider visiting Artists Open Studios:
1. To have FUN
The definition of fun is amusement, enjoyment and playfulness.
Who doesn’t want to have fun!
Visiting an artist in their home or studio scores high on the fun meter, offering opportunities to observe art being created in real time, take part yourself and get messy playing with ink, paint and clay, just for pleasure.. with no agenda or pressure to be the next Picasso!
2. To feel GOOD
Visiting an artist in their home or studio is a relaxed and informal way to enjoy art just for art’s sake and therefore has the potential to make us feel good.
Buying the art we see, directly from the artists creating it also has the potential to trigger the release of further feel good endorphins.
3. To discover something NEW
Moving out of our comfort zone can be challenging. However, it can also be exciting and allow us to experience something new and unexpected
Discovering something new and unexpected can unlock hidden potential if we approach with an open mind and a positive constructive attitude.
Open studio/house visitor Etiquette
Don’t ask overly personal questions
Do ask about the artwork and the artists practice and methods
Be honest but try to be constructive with any comments
Don’t photograph or film without first asking the artists permission
Don’t post on social media without first asking the artists permission