You can visit artists and makers in their workplaces and get a peek into their methods during open studios, when the creative community opens its doors to spare rooms, garden sheds and workshops in some of the loveliest parts of the country. You can buy or commission directly from – deep breath – painters, printmakers, jewellers, textile designers, photographers, graphic designers, up-cyclers, upholsterers, ceramicists, sculptors, metalworkers, glass artist, furniture-makers and illustrators. Some run workshops and demonstrations. Afterwards their brochures are handy gift guides throughout the year.
With new artists joining their ranks for the first time this year, Open Studios Ayrshire returns with four routes to follow through beautiful Ayrshire scenery. Says one of last year’s new artists, Kit Henderson: “It is such a delight to have people watch you work and ask questions about your practice, and working with other artists has been a lovely change from the solitary studio life!” Check out also the OSA Annual Showcase at Rozelle House Galleries, Ayr, until May 7.
DUMFRIES & GALLOWAY
May 27 – 29
Generally regarded as Scotland’s premier open studios event, Spring Fling celebrates its 15th year with 93 artists, makers and designers, including 15 new participants. Spring Fling will also be ‘exporting’ some Dumfries & Galloway talents to New Brewery Arts in Cirencester, Gloucestershire in an exhibition entitled Outpost (until May 14). They include silversmith Michael Pell, who helped to create the medals for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, and Clare Melinsky, best known as the cover illustrator for the Harry Potter books.
Jun 3 & 4
Opened in 2015 by artist John Byrne, Fire Station Creative in Dunfermline houses 20 studios in a the modernised former home of the Fire and Rescue Service. This open studios event is a rare opportunity to see inside the iconic 1934 building designed by the architect James Shearer, who studied at Glasgow School of Art and also designed the Carnegie Memorial Hall, extended Dunfermline Central Library, refurbished the Abbot’s House and worked on Dunfermline Abbey.
April 29 – May 1
In a new venture this year Open Studios North Fife is supporting the Scottish charity Mary’s Meals by raising money to provide one good meal every school day to 1.2 million of the world’s poorest children. All participating artists and makers have been invited to offer a piece of their work for sale, the proceeds from which will go directly to the charity.
May 20 & 21 and 27 & 28
Follow the red balloons along the East Neuk Open Studios Art Trail, which takes in over 30 studios and workshops throughout that beautiful corner of Fife, stretching from Upper Largo to Boarhills via St Monans and Cellardyke. Participants include glass artist Keny Drew, who his selling ‘pairs’ of stained glass Y-fronts at Cellardyke Harbour on April 15 in aid of Cahonas Scotland as part of testicular cancer awareness month, with £10 from each sale going to the charity.
April 29 & 30
You can let the train take the strain during the Artline Open Doors Weekend, when the East Coast Main Line through Fife from North Queensferry to Cupar, one of the UK’s most scenic rail routes, links seven disused Victorian and Edwardian railways stations which have been transformed into artist studios and heritage centres.
Rail info: www.scotrail.co.uk. Parking available for those travelling by car.
April 28 – May 1
Look out for exhibitions and events in homes, gardens and other unusual venues throughout the city during Glasgow Open House. Check website for details.