Traditionally the period between Christmas and New Year is when many of us will reflect on the year just ending and start to make plans for the one fast approaching. However, I have started that process a little early and would like to share one of my #wins for 2023 - Swindon Open Studios.
This year’s event was one of the largest in its history with talented and diverse artists participating across 48 venues from the centre of town right out to neighbouring villages. There was something for everyone, glass, ceramics, traditional and abstract painting, digital art, and textiles.
It was an honour to be part of the team that made this event possible and witness the continued growth of Swindon's creative community; one which is friendly, supportive, and inspiring. In the process, I gained some handy new skills and found friendship and mutual support in the committee.
And, because I had made the decision not to participate myself, I was able to visit so many of the venues and artists over the two weekends: snapping up some lovely pieces of original art in the process. The only downside was that I ran out of time and couldn’t get to see everyone.
For many, visiting galleries or museums can feel daunting and experiencing art, in whatever format, is not for them. As a free event, Swindon Open Studios provides open access to everyone without any obligation to buy.
The life of an artist can sometimes be a solitary affair, but creatives relish the opportunity to talk about their processes and what inspires them. I had so many wonderful arty chats during my studio visits and came away all the richer for them.
Next year sees the 20th anniversary of Swindon Open Studios so add the dates to your 2024 calendar and sign up for the mailing list so as not to miss any news. Maybe you will be inspired to participate yourself or simply enjoy visiting as many artists in their studios as possible.
Here's to an art-filled 2024.