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Local artists throw open doors to public

Hundreds of artists from across the region are preparing to throw open their studio doors to the public as part of Norfolk & Norwich Open Studios 2019, which is one of the biggest open studios schemes in the country.

The 16-day celebration runs from Saturday, May 25 to Sunday, June 9 and marks its 25th anniversary this year.

In West Norfolk, 28 artists will be taking part in the free event. As well as the 430 artists taking part county-wide, numerous Norfolk schools will be exhibiting in the scheme.

Art Trails will also be in place, allowing audiences to visit a number of artists in a particular area, stopping at studios and local attractions along the way.

Esther Boehm
Esther Boehm

In West Norfolk four school groups are taking part (Castle Acre C of E Primary Academy, St Martin at Shouldham Academy, All Saints Academy and EMAT Primary Schools Collaboration) and two art trails have been organised by artists participating in the scheme.

These are the Castle Acre Trail (Castle Acre, West Acre and Swaffham) and the Wide Fields and Big Skies Art Trail (Great Bircham, Thornham, Ringstead and Heacham).

Many of the artists will be holding additional events, demonstrations and workshops across a diverse range of art forms and techniques including mosaic, ceramics, printing, jewellery, textiles, painting, papercutting, glass work, sculpture and wood turning.

Louise Stebbing
Louise Stebbing

Alongside the fortnight, West Norfolk artists will be hosting two taster exhibitions at King’s Lynn Library (May 16–24).

West Norfolk artist Sarah Burt said: “I’m delighted to be taking part in Norfolk & Norwich Open Studios again this year as it’s a great opportunity to have the time to talk to people about my work and answer their questions.

"This can often give me further inspiration too, and it’s surprising how many passers-by on the coastal path just pop in and stay for an hour.”

Internationally renowned artists as well as artists new to the scheme take part each year.

Brochures can be picked up from Tourist Information Centres and other venues across Norfolk for more details, including studio opening days.

Sarah Burt
Sarah Burt

Ros Dixon, Norfolk & Norwich Open Studios Administrator, said: “It’s wonderful to think that Norfolk & Norwich Open Studios will be in its 25th year in 2019. It goes to show that the scheme has a timeless appeal for both artists and visitors.

“It’s not just about buying and selling work directly from the artist, which of course is one of the appeals, but it also offers artists the chance to meet and talk with people who are interested in their work.

“Many artists also enjoy being able to meet and work with other artists, which for some has resulted in long-term collaborations and friendships.

"Being able to see artists at work in unique working spaces will continue to fascinate and appeal to people, whether the artist has been taking part in Open Studios for 25 years or whether it’s their first time.”

Studios are free to visit and all details, including studio opening days, directions, art trails and additional events and demonstrations, can be found in the Norfolk & Norwich Open Studios brochure and on the scheme’s website.

Brochures can be picked up from Tourist Information Centres, libraries, cafes and various art venues across Norfolk.

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