Jim recently blogged about how Open House Studios are something students should consider as a way of exhibiting their work in the first instance and getting it seen. Rebecca was lucky enough to attend two Artist Open Studio events, Radiant Works 10th Birthday celebration and Saltaire Art Trail, and whilst she was there thought it would be good to share why she think OCA students should take advantage of these occasions…
Artist Open Studio events take place across the country at different times of the year. These often very local events involve artists opening their studios to the public for a day or a weekend. Allowing interested folk to come and meet them and see how they work. They often have work for sale and if you’re lucky provide refreshments.
For OCA students this is an ideal opportunity to meet local creative people and learn about what they do. Most artists who open the doors to their studios are really happy to talk about their work. This gives students the ideal opportunity to ask questions about where artists take their inspiration, what materials/techniques they use and how they go about selling the work? This can become a real learning experience, as you will be able to see how the skills and ideas you are developing in your studies can be translated into sellable work. From these events you can also take away ideas that you can feed into your current studies. This might be something to do with materials used, techniques or composition.
Open studio events are also an ideal place for networking and meeting like-minded people in your area. Giving you the chance to form relationships with other creative people and getting involved with local arts events. This can give you the opportunity to gain support from a community of artists but also add something yourself. Networking can lead to unknown opportunities like the chance to exhibit with a group or attend an artist lead workshop that will encourage your creative development.
To find local open studio events check your local newspaper or news website, council websites, library notice boards and by following artists social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Blogs and Twitter.
I was able to poke around the studios and look at work by Fiona Wilson and Martin Smith at Radiant Works, Huddersfield. Fiona Wilson is a designer maker who is currently working on a project ‘365 prints’ where she is creating a print every day for a year. Her aim is to really push and explore her love of print. To experiment, take risks and see what happens. You can follow her journey here. Martin Smith is a kinetic sculptor whose work is concerned with people’s perception and interpretation of space. He works in both large and small scales. He is the Co-Founder and Art Director of the design label Laikingland. The work he creates through this company plays with the themes of humour, nonsense and futility. To find out more about Martins work visit his website
During my visit to Saltaire Arts Trail I had the pleasure of visiting Hannah Lamb’s studio. Hannah is a textile artist and maker with an interest in investigating walking, nature and landscape through a variety of methods. These include natural dye techniques, detailed prints from plant material, the photographic process of cyanotype and using materials and objects found in the environment. You can learn more about Hannah’s work at here