Swindon Open Studios (SOS) has become a much loved annual event on the Swindon Calendar. It is a fabulous opportunity for Swindon’s creative talent to display, demonstrate, discuss and sell their artwork.
Artists are invited to sign up now for 2018. Closing date for applications is 31 May 2018 and this year’s event will take place on Saturday 22, Sunday 23, Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 September.
It’s great that a diverse range of artists are already involved. However, it is always good to see new talent emerging - or longer established artists trying out SOS for the first time. Here are a few stories from me and this year's participants.
I took part for the first time last year, and found that it opened up several other opportunities. I enjoyed it so much that I have already joined the committee!
2018 will be the fifth time Swindon artist Caroline Day has registered to open her studio for SOS. Caroline believes that it has been a real benefit to her. She describes it as “a real boost for emerging artists taking part.”
Mixed media artist Ann Parker- Griffiths registered for the first time last year and was initially cautious about taking part. On reflection she says now that “everyone I have met within SOS has been encouraging and helpful in so many ways that I wish I had started years ago”.
Fine artist Hannah Dosanji points out the numerous advantages of participating – professionally and socially: “hearing about other local artists, your own profile being shared on a brilliant website and social media, plus the opportunity to meet SOS participants and how interesting (not intimidating!) meeting the public can be… it's hard work but fun”
There is no right or wrong way for an artist to hold an Open Studio; it’s the variety that makes it a special and unique scheme. Many artists don’t have a studio as such but still open their house to show where they create their work – often on the kitchen table! Ideally it is not just an exhibition but a chance for people to see artist’s work in progress.
It doesn’t have to be in your own house if that’s not appropriate – many make use of community venues, often grouping together.
There is also an opportunity for participants to exhibit in an Old Town Art Trail in August. During this introduction trail Old Town businesses kindly offer to host a piece of SOS artwork within their shop window to advertised the September SOS event. Artists and the motivational Swindon following are also invited to a SOS launch evening on Friday the 14th of September at the Central Community Centre, Swindon. More information will be available about this soon.
The event is widely advertised with brochures available at many local venues. Artists will also benefit greatly if they spend a bit of time promoting their involvement in SOS.
Artists have until the 31 May to register online. Cost of registration is £40. Terms and conditions are on the website. Please feel free to ask for advice or join our SOS Artists Forum group on Facebook.