30 Years of Open Studios West Berkshire and North Hampshire

The annual local showcase for the Visual Arts
12 May to 3 June 2018

2018 marks the 30th year of Open Studios in West Berkshire and North Hampshire.

The Open Studios scheme was started by the late Pat Eastop MBE in 1988 and it has grown year on year, presenting work by 123 artists in 2018.

The strength of Open Studios is the meeting between artist and their public in their studios and careful organised exhibitions.  The great value of the studio visits is the opportunity to see how a work of art comes about. Visitors can discuss with the makers what are the inspirations and find out what methods and process were used.  Artists welcome discussions about their work and are happy to answer questions.  You can also acquire a work of art or commission one.

In 2018 there will be over 120 artists showing in Open Studios and between them they cover a wide range of disciplines; sculpture, painting, ceramics, photography, textiles, print making and millinery.

All the artists are represented in a huge flagship exhibition, INSIGHT 2018, which in 2018 will be held at Arlington Arts, in the grounds of Mary Hare School for the Deaf, Newbury.  The exhibition will be open Monday to Sunday from 11am to 5pm with late openings on Thursdays till 8pm.  This showcase exhibition will be curated by John Brazendale, Martin Eastabrook and Paul Kessling.  Artists will steward the show and be on hand to discuss the works with you.  We recommend that you use the show as a ‘taster’ for what you might see in the studios.

Central to Open Studios is the publication of a free, glossy, illustrated Directory of Artists with maps, travel directions and artists’ statements.  These are available at local public venues including the Corn Exchange, Waterstones, the Central Library and West Berkshire Council Offices.

The artists’ statements in the Directory of Artists and on the website www.open-studios.org.uk give a fascinating insight of what each of them presents this year. Kevin Akhurst mentions his interest in new glaze effects producing complex and interesting textures in his post. Sue Crook uses hand-dyed natural fabrics with free hand machinery embroidery, what is called ‘stitched sketching’. Emma Moscow creates hats and headpieces that are one off creations that suit her client’s style and personality. Kate Steele's love of the environment and flowers continue to be reflected in her work.

Many artists in Open Studios take part in special satellite exhibitions, organised by the volunteer team of Open Studios led by Anne Jones. You will be able to visit exhibitions amongst other places at the Watermill Theatre with works by Susan Kirkman and Johannes von Stumm; at Shaw House and Donnington Grove Country Hotel where two linked Open Air Sculpture’s exhibitions have been curated by Jim Crockatt;  at Sandham Memorial Chapel where works by 10 diverse artists will be on show;  at the Corn Exchange where ‘Art in Music’ shows work inspired by Newbury Spring Festival music concerts;  at Newbury’s Library where ‘New to Newbury’ presents works my new artists in the Open Studio scheme; at the West Berkshire Museum with two exhibitions, the annual Cover to Cover sketchbook project organised by Isabel Carmona in the Museum Library and ‘Invisible Threads’ in Gallery 5 curated by Chrys Healy; and at West Berkshire Community Hospital where artwork from ten artists will take over walls and corridors of the hospital.

There is also a wonderful opportunity to learn a new skill, through Hands-on Workshops.  What about a ‘Mosaic Workshop, a ‘Papier-mache, an ancient art from the Orient, ‘Urban Sketching, drawing people on location’ or a ‘Ceramic workshop’’?  Bookings opened on the 7th April and we advise to book early to ensure a place on these materials only cost one day courses!

The Open Studios team firmly believe that the arts have a central place in our everyday lives and aim to provide inspiration through the artworks and the understanding of the creative process. Open Studios is run by a committee of artists and administrators who all work on a voluntary basis.

PHOTOS – credits INSIGHT (Deborah Taylor), Artwork photos – photo credit the artist themselves.

[Note: images are linked to the high res versions for reproduction, simply click on the image to access the high resolution version]

Some of the Open Studios Curated exhibitions in 2018:
INSIGHT 2018 (showing INSIGHT 2017 in these pictures)

Link to high resolution image of INSIGHT 2017 exhibition Link to high resolution image of INSIGHT 2017 exhibition Link to high resolution image of INSIGHT 2017 exhibition

West Berkshire Museum Gallery 5 exhibition – artworks by:  Bruce Bamber, Paul Forsey, Petra Giede-Barnes, Pamela Hardman, Sarah Moorcroft, Amy Malikov, Emma Moscow, Arty Pumpkin and Clive Wilson.

Link to high resolution image of West Berkshire Museum Gallery 5 exhibition


Click on the images above to open a high resolution version

For a PDF containing the Open Studios logos click here.

Open Studios: John Brazendale chair@open-studios.org.uk or 07765 218296, or admin@open-studios.org.uk


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