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Here’s one for the weekend
FANCY a weekend with a difference – crammed with colour, culture, carvings and in many cases, a nice cuppa. Then take the Swindon Art Trail.
Some 40 artists from in and around Swindon are displaying a vast array of works for two weekends in September.
In some instances the public are being invited into the homes, gardens and studios of artists and craftspeople to see them at work.
Billed as “Art in the Making in and Around Swindon,” the event is the biggest of its kind ever staged in the area and takes place over the weekends of Saturday/Sunday September 7/8 and 14/15.
It has been organised by Swindon Open Studios (SOS) to showcase the diverse range of artists working in the area.
Artist Jane Milner-Barry, who specialises in small oil paintings and is one of the event’s organisers, said: “There are so many talented artists and craftspeople working in and around Swindon.
“However, a lot of people don’t know they are there. We feel that SOS is the best way to change all that.
“Artists will have the opportunity to show what they can do and gain a wider audience. “We’ve noticed that once people find out about Open Studios, they come back year after year – so it’s like greeting old friends when they turn up.” Jane, who paints landscapes and still-lives, went on: “It promises to an exciting event with many returning artists and also new artists taking part.
“There will be a diverse range of work on show from contemporary to traditional approaches.
“Artists will be happy to discuss their work with visitors.” The SOS initiative starts with a high-profile launch on Friday at the Artsite gallery at The Post Modern in Theatre Square where interested parties – artists, their friends, potential SOS visitors and supporters – are invited.
The first three SOS weekends took place every two years from 2004, but it became such a success, with more artists taking part and an increasing number of members of the public keen to see what they were up to, that in 2009 it became an annual event.
The SOS art trail takes in 28 venues ranging from the Central Library, The Wyvern Theatre’s Basement Bar and the Artists’ Forum at the Brunel Centre Level Two to a variety of homes ranging from small terraced houses, modern estate homes and large Edwardian abodes.
Several out-of-town artists are also taking part and the public is being invited to view Pat Elmore’s wood carvings and workshop in Longcot, Sharon Rich’s hand carved stone sculptures at her garden near the Uffington White Horse, and Derek Gale’s photography at his garden studio in Watchfield SOS has produced a glossy brochure complete with a map showing what works are on where. It even indicates where visitors will be offered a cup of tea.
SOS member Linda Kasmaty said: “You could make a weekend of the SOS art trail.
“Many open homes and studios are within easy walking distance of each other, such as Old Town. “Or what better than a drive into the beautiful countryside around Swindon to see the works in the Longcot and Watchfield areas?”
l The brochure with times and venues is available from the Central Library, the Arts Centre, Pen & Paper bookshop in Old Town, and also online. The official launch is at 7.30pm at Artsite in Theatre Square on Friday, September 6. Copies will also be available by emailing email@example.com A list of participants has been published on the website, http://www.swindonopenstudios.org.uk.
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