Arran Open Studios
In August 2012 Arran artists first opened their studios to the general public. There seems nothing extraordinary about this – other regions and localities have held similar events. But this was the first year that Arran Artists, coming together as Arran Open Studios, stage such a wide-ranging initiative incorporating painters, sculptors and all manner of craftspeople.
The first event was organised by Arran-based painter Josephine Broekhuizen and Arran-based drama-teacher, Sarah Cook who applied for and received funding from several sources including Leader, the Arran Theatre and Arts Trust, North Ayrshire Council. This funding, along with subscriptions from participating artists provided for the setting up of a website and the production of the first Open Studios Event brochure; this was the menu and road-map (literally) of the event.
The leaflet was a ‘must-have’ for anybody visiting the studios on the island giving directions, access issues, advice on parking, what type of art was being displayed and also, usefully, provided information about nearby cafés, hotels restaurants and places of interest. Visitors could plan their studio visit around a local coffee shop, restaurant or tearoom.
The event has run again in each subsequent year apart from an enforced break in 2020. Both the website and printed booklet have evolved over the years to give visitors an even more comprehensive guide to the wide variety of artists and makers exhibiting here in Arran.
Now operating under the island’s umbrella arts charity, the Arran Theatre and Arts Trust, Arran Open Studios has become an established part of the Arran calendar and continues to go from strength to strength.
Here’s a short video from the 2015 event giving just a taste of the variety of work that was on show in that particular year.
The organisers would encourage any artist or maker living on or able to exhibit in Arran to join us for future events and help swell the numbers of both artists and visitors.
It’s easy to join. Contact Ruth Mae via the ‘contact us’ page for more information.
Open Studios Across Scotland & the UK
Scotland is home to a large number of arts and open studio events. Here are links to some of our favourites.
Across the UK as a whole there are many more, which you can explore using the link to the Open Studios Network below (note: this site is no longer maintained, but it is still a useful resource as many of the events listed continue annually)