Members Area

Frequently Asked Questions

Here we try to answer the most frequently asked questions about how Open Studios West Berkshire and North Hampshire (WBNH) operates.

If you are an artist interested in joining Open Studios WBNH the first thing to do is apply for Accreditation.


Accreditation The Calendar Keeping in touch
Managing Matchmaking Mentoring
Exhibitions Registration Social Media
Volunteering Art Trails  

Social Media

The three hashtags we are using for 2020 are #OSWBNH2020 #OSWBNH #INSIGHT

Our enthusiastic team is led by Gemma Kirby. Diana Pattenden delivers Facebook posts, Amanda Bates Tweets on Twitter and Consuelo Simpson posts on Instagram. The Artists Newsletter is organised each month by Teresa Munn.

To increase footfall through your door and boost sales of your art, it is essential that you embrace social media in today’s connected world. As part of this and to reach as wide an audience as possible, we’re asking you to spread information about Open Studios exhibitions and events leading up to May and all year round. You can do this by sharing Facebook posts, tagging Open Studios on Instagram or re-tweeting on Twitter etc.

  • Please search up and ‘Like’ the Open Studios West Berkshire and North Hampshire Facebook group. Diana Pattenden manages the page, her email address is: diana@dianapattenden.co.uk
  • You can share relevant posts from the above group to your own Facebook newsfeed, also ask ‘Friends’ to share the Open Studios page with their networks.
  • You could create an ‘event’ on your own Facebook account inviting people to your exhibition.
  • Facebook is an easy way to share and publicise art work and exhibitions throughout the year, Diana is happy to receive photographs of art work, with an added brief description, all year round.
  • Please follow the Open Studios Instagram account by searching @oswbnh. Consuelo Simpson manages the OS Instagram account; her email address is: simpson.consuelo@gmail.com
  • You can post your own images of your art work on Instagram, please add the OS account tag @oswbnh to your post, in addition add the Open Studios hashtags that we are using this year:
    #oswbnh   #oswbnh2020   #oswbnhinsight
  • Instagram is an instant and easy way to publicise photos of your work throughout the year, please use the above tags all year round.
  • Please follow the OS Twitter feed, @OS_WBNH. The account is managed by Amanda Bates, her email address is: Amanda.jane.bates@gmail.com
  • You can post info about your exhibition on your Twitter feed and share the posts of others also involved with the scheme.
  • Please add the OS Twitter tag @OS_WBNH to your posts, including the hashtags we are using this year:
    #oswbnh   #oswbnh2020   #oswbnhinsight

The Open Studios Artists Newsletter has a growing audience and is a great opportunity for artists to share their news amongst our readers. Teresa Munn welcomes news of exhibitions, events and sales, she asks for details and a weblink/Facebook link to be sent to her at editor@open-studios.org.uk

The social media team are very happy to publicise ‘Work in Progress’ photos, please send any images with a brief description to Social Media Coordinator Gemma Kirby, email: gemmakirbyartist@gmail.com. In addition, if you are not on social media, please also email images to any of the above email addresses and we will post them for you.

We need you to spread the Open Studios news to as wide an audience as possible. You can do this by sharing posts or re-tweeting on Twitter etc. Our Artists Newsletter has a growing audience and is a great opportunity for artists to share their news amongst our readers. Teresa Munn welcomes news of exhibitions, events and sales and asks for text and a photograph to be sent to her at editor@open-studios.org.uk

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The Open Studios Calendar

There are six key events in the Open Studios calendar. The Launch, Proofing Day, Distribution Day, INSIGHT Handing-in Day, INSIGHT Preview and Collection of Work and Evaluation. These events are an essential part of the working of Open Studios each year and are an excellent opportunity to meet and network with fellow artists in the Scheme.

This takes place at The Corn Exchange late each October, see Key Dates, and prepares artists for the new Open Studios year. Our president invites a guest speaker to talk about pertinent topics and the Chair explains the registration process and any new ideas and plans that will be introduced.

It is a social event where artists can interact but it also has a very important function for newly accredited artists who can meet as a group and ask questions of an experienced Open Studios artist. Meetings for Basingstoke and Reading artists also take place. This is also an opportunity for Matchmaking.

This vital event takes place at Liberty House, Greenham Business Park, in mid-February, see Key Dates. This is the only opportunity for you to check your entry.

We provide a printed proof of your entry into the Open Studios Directory of Artists and ask you to ensure that it is correct in all details. Changes can be made at this time, but only minor ones. In addition to your proof the map of studio locations is displayed and you are asked to confirm the correct location of your studio on the map.

Usually takes place first week of April at The Base, Greenham Business Park but see Key Dates for details. This is when you collect the Open Studios Directories, posters, fliers etc. for your distribution. The Open Studios Website goes live on Distribution Day.

See Key Dates for the specific date. Every registered artist should submit work into this our flagship exhibition. Well over 2,000 visitors attend each year, it is a great shop window and guides visitors to the studios of artists who interest them. The exhibition works.

Participating artists will receive two tickets for this joyous social celebration of our work. We have a guest speaker, live music, wine and canapés. It is a special occasion not to be missed.

After three weeks the INSIGHT exhibition is taken down and participating artists collect their work from The Base. You will receive an Evaluation form. These evaluations are vital to our future planning and continued support by our funders at The Greenham Trust.

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Accreditation

The application form can be found form can be found here. The final deadline for all information is late August.

Complete the application form can be found here, save it and return it by email to chair@open-studios by the (late August) closing date on the form.

You will then have one week to send photographs and a statement about your work along with your C.V. The Open Studios Committee meets for accreditation assessment soon afterwards.

The sooner you apply of course, the more time you will have to produce your photographs, statement and CV.

No, this is a one-off procedure, you need only make one successful application.

If you miss the deadline for Accreditation then you miss out for that specific year but can apply for the following year. These dates are published many months in advance. Our deadlines are vital to the smooth running of our scheme.

At the Open Studios Accreditation meeting, committee members decide if the work meets the standards of our scheme. When an artist is successful, a congratulatory email is sent. When an artist is unsuccessful, we offer an explanation, a meeting and advice when applicable.

Yes, you can. Over the history of Open Studios WBNH, a number of artists have reapplied and been accepted second time around. The advice and encouragement we give is often acted upon positively resulting in a successful outcome.

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Art Trails

If you register for a particular year you may well want to join with artists situated near you to produce an Art Trail. We will provide you with the information which gives you the names of artists with their contact details.

Please try to invite all artists near you. It's important that you contact each other to see who wants to be included, as not all artists may be interested in this initiative. We have received very favourable feedback from those artists who have devised 'Art Trails' that they improve visitor numbers, particularly when the artists included on the trail have similar opening times, although this isn't always possible.

It is up to you to contact each other with a view to creating your own Art Trail. Design and production of the leaflets is down to you.

n.b. When you design your leaflet:

  • – please include a reference to our INSIGHT exhibition at The Base.
  • – please use the Open Studios logos we place here in the Members Area. Resize the logos to suit your needs but do not change the aspect ratio, i.e. do not stretch/squash them in any way.

If you play around with Google Maps putting in the similar postcodes to yours, you will soon find out the names of the other artists near you. You could then use this as the basis for your Art Trail.

If you want to try to coordinate artists to open at the same time you must meet the deadline date for completing opening times, artists' statements and images is a hard deadline. Failure to do so could well mean withdrawal from our scheme and loss of registration fee – see Terms and Conditions for further details.

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Mentoring

As a result of artist suggestions during the 2019 Evaluation we are developing a Mentoring Scheme which will help new artists to understand how our scheme operates. We are starting with newly accredited artists but there may also be recently accredited artists who also wish for advice.

Sue Crook is developing the scheme. She is choosing experienced Open Studios artists who will form a team to offer advice to newly accredited artists.

Sue Crook or another member of the Mentoring Team will contact all newly accredited artists to offer help. Alternatively any artist can contact her for advice at sulphursue@yahoo.co.uk

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Keeping in touch

All accredited artists are placed on our contact distribution list and emails, regarding the workings of Open Studios WBNH, are sent out when necessary. Accredited artists are advised not to unsubscribe from this distribution list as this is the sole means of communication from the Open Studios WBNH committee.

This distribution list is different to the Newsletter distribution list which is open for any artist to subscribe to.

Accredited artists who do not receive emails from Open Studios WBNH very often find the mails have gone into their 'anti-spam' box. This help page contains details of how to avoid this in most modern email applications.

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Registration

Please refer to the Key Dates here in the Members Area.

No, our dates are published at least three months in advance and details sent out by email to all accredited artists. Our deadlines are vital to the smooth running of our scheme.

Once accredited to the Open Studios WBNH Scheme you don’t need to re-apply each year. So just go ahead and register for next year.

Yes, we like artists, particularly newly accredited artists, to attend the Open Studios Launch but it is not necessary in order to register.

You should have received an Open Studios Launch Invitation email which gave the details - The Corn Exchange, Newbury.

You should have received an Open Studios Launch Invitation email which gave the details - Friday 25th October 10am - 12pm

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Matchmaking

This is a process to match up artists wanting to register for Open Studios but not having a viable venue with artists who have a venue and are looking for artists to join them.

We start the process in early September by emailing all accredited artists, asking them if they are wanting to share a venue or are looking for artists to share their venue.

When all responses have been received, a ‘Matchmaking’ document is sent out to all interested parties, then it is for the artists to make their arrangements. Many are arranged before registration begins. The scheme works very well, but only for artists who are proactive.

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Open Studios Exhibitions

Our Open Studios INSIGHT flagship exhibition is open to all artists registered in a particular year. Registered artists can submit their work and it will be seen by over 2,000 visitors to The Base, during Open Studios.

Our Open Studios Satellite exhibitions are closed exhibitions and showing is by invitation of the curator. We try our best to ensure that registered artists are only represented in one satellite exhibition. We hold them in a variety of venues in Reading, Basingstoke and Newbury.

If you are a 2D artist, you may submit up to two pieces of work, 3D artists may submit up to three pieces of work.

Yes, you’ll have to pay 20% commission to the Corn Exchange, Newbury, who manage the payments for sales at INSIGHT.

Yes, you’ll be asked by a committee member to act as a steward at some point during the exhibition. This is not an option, it’s essential to the experience we offer our visitors, your presence will help them to engage with the artworks. Most artists enjoy this opportunity to interact with the public.

No, curators will make their own choices of who they want to invite for a particular theme, genre or idea for their exhibition. They have complete autonomy here.

This depends on the venue, some venues will charge a commission, however most do not.

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Managing Open Studios

Open Studios WBNH is managed by a committee that reflects the wide area of expertise necessary for such a successful scheme. We are a well balanced voluntary group. As you would expect most have arts degrees but we are lucky enough to have others who have business and finance qualifications. The Accreditation Committee is made up of experienced Open Studios artists who have been with the scheme for many years.

The following are committee members with specific responsibilities

President: Johannes von Stumm
Chair: John Brazendale
Vice Chair and Designer: Paul Forsey
Administration: Glenn Clarkson
Finance: Lesley Clarkson
Secretary: Kevin Akhurst
Publicity: Gillian Durrant

Satellite Exhibitions: Anne Jones
Workshops: Sue Crook
Social Media: Gemma Kirby, Diana Pattenden, Amanda Bates, Teresa Munn and Consuelo Simpson
Mentoring: Sue Crook

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Volunteering for Open Studios

If you’d like to help out, contact our Chair by email chair@open-studios.org.uk

These are just some of our routine tasks during the year.

Giving out materials to artists on Distribution Day in April.
Helping to organise the sale of banners, signage etc. on Distribution Day.
Helping to hand out Directories at Corn Exchange events in April.
Helping to distribute Directories and fliers to key arts centres in our catchment.
Helping to distribute Directories and fliers to local shops, hotels, pubs etc.
Helping to store works as they arrive on Handing-In Day in May.
Helping with curation at one of our OS Satellite exhibitions in May.
Helping to place signage for the INSIGHT Exhibition in May.
Helping with Parking arrangements for the INSIGHT Preview in May.

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