ONE of central Scotland’s biggest arts and crafts festivals in set to get underway.
Forth Valley Open Studios highlights the work of nearly 150 artists at around 80 venues across Falkirk, Stirling, Clackmannanshire, Fife and West Lothian.
The event kicks off with a free showcase exhibition at the University of Stirling, running from 25 May.
Then the artists involved will show off their work at small-scale exhibitions - in either their own homes or commercial studios or galleries. These displays will run from 8 to 16 June, 2013.
Local painting, drawing, photography, printmaking, sculpture, glassware, textiles and other art forms will be on display.
The full programme and a link to a downloadable Open Studios App (for iPhones and iPads) is available from www.forthvalleyopenstudios.com. Printed brochures are also available from arts venues and local Co-op stores.
Admission to all the exhibitions is free and work on display will be available to buy, with prices starting from as little as £5.
Jane Cameron, the art curator at the University of Stirling, says: “The initial showcase exhibition, in our Pathfoot Building, will give art fans a great chance to see the Open Studios participants in one central venue. You can then plan your diary to see your favourites at local exhibitions right across the Forth Valley area in June.
“These smaller exhibitions will allow people to see the artists, and their work, in their own studios. All the exhibitions are free and the festival is a great chance to see the wealth of artists talent locally.”
She added: “From the University’s perspective, we’re delighted to host the showcase – which launches the Open Studios events – alongside our permanent art collection. This core exhibition opens on 25 May and runs through the summer until 31 July.”
The University Showcase will be complemented with a display by Dr. Alastair R. Ross, one of the UK’s leading figurative sculptors (www.arross.co.uk ). He will also present a free lecture at the University between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. on 1 June.
There will also be two public workshops in the University's Pathfoot building the same day - from 10 a.m. to noon. A drawing workshop will cost £20 per person (please book in advance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org). At the same time there will also be a nail art workshop costing £6 per person (no need to book, just drop in).
Artist Lys Hansen, the honorary chair of Forth Valley Open Studios, said: “I’m proud to say that in a time of financial cuts and austerity, the support and participation in the Open Studios goes from strength or strength. More venues are open and more artists are with us. This is good, for we need to support each other and our creative abilities.”
She said the University was a “splendid” venue to host the showcase exhibition.
Avril Nicol, the Open Studios’ project co-ordinator, said the 2013 festival – now in its fourth year - aims to be the “best ever”.
She said: “As a not-for-profit organisation we are committed to connecting communities through art, while at the same time providing a mechanism for artists to sell work and to meet the public, many of whom will never have had the opportunity before to visit an artist in his or her own studio.”
Forth Valley Open Studios 2013 Showcase Exhibition, at the Pathfoot Building, University of Stirling, FK9 9LA. From 25 May to 31 July, 2013. The venue is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays to Fridays and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at weekends.
In addition to the Open Studios exhibition, the University is also continuing to display work from “Skin Over Bone”, its previous exhibition, featuring work by painter James Hardie and his artist daughter Gwen.
View our gallery of some of the Open Studios exhibits.
ABOUT FORTH VALLEY OPEN STUDIOS
Over 145 artists will be taking part in this year’s Forth Valley Open Studios: an art event across Central Scotland for artists, designers, makers, art clubs and galleries.
Artists open their studios and work spaces inviting all members of the community to view their work. Many offer demonstrations and provide the public with an experience, taking time to engage with the audiences and explain their ideas and inspiration for their work.
The tradition of collecting art at Stirling goes back to the founding of the University in 1967 when Professor Tom Cottrell was the first Principal. A scientist by training, he came from an artistic background and had very clear ideas about art and its place in society. He felt that art should be part of the everyday experience at the University and this vision began to take shape when Stirling was gifted a collection of the late Fergusson’s work by the artist's partner, Margaret Morris and the J D Fergusson Arts Foundation.
From these origins, the Art Collection has grown substantially and, over 40 years later, the University now has a diverse range on display with over 300 works covering a broad spectrum of modern Scottish painting, sketches, tapestries, silver and sculpture. Included are works by distinguished artists like John Bellany, Elizabeth Blackadder, Alan Davie, Joan Eardley, Eduardo Paolozzi and Anne Redpath. There are also regular temporary exhibitions by invited artists and of items from the University Archives. The University’s policy of continuing to attain new works remains a priority and ensures that new art is continually being acquired and displayed on campus.