Prestigious Open Studios launch in Sidmouth

SIDMOUTH was chosen as the venue for this year s launch of Devon Artists Open Studios fortnight, bringing the prestigious opening to East Devon for the first time.

SIDMOUTH was chosen as the venue for this year's launch of Devon Artists Open Studios fortnight, bringing the prestigious opening to East Devon for the first time.

Paintings, jewellery and sculptures from local artists lined the walls at Kennaway House on Tuesday, giving a taster to visitors, who can get guides leading to the 250 artists participating in the Open Studios fortnight at 100 locations across the county.

"This gives all of us a wonderful chance to see artists at work in their studios, discuss their work with them and, of course, buy some new artwork for our own homes," said County Councillor Stuart Hughes, who officially launched the fortnight, again sponsored by Devon County Council.

Beginning tomorrow (Saturday) September 5 until Sunday, September 20, Open Studios offers artists from around the county the chance to welcome visitors to their studios and sell their work direct.

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"This fortnight helps put Devon on the map as a place where arts and culture are alive and kicking," said Mr Hughes.

"I think it is important for the county council to play its part in helping demonstrate the rich creativity of the hundreds of artists who live and work in Devon."

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He said, like Sidmouth FolkWeek, Open Studios would help boost local economy.

Last year's fortnight generated �140,000 worth of sales.

Put together by Devon Artists Network, there are four other taster venues across the county, including Exeter.

Programme manager Kate Wilson said: "This is the third year it has been a county-wide event. It is a great platform for artists to exhibit and sell work."

Sidmouth artist Victoria Goodman, 35, who is working and exhibiting her oil paintings of natural images at Treetops, Manstone Mead, had her painting The Dandelion Clock, on show.

"This is my first exhibition with Open Studios, it is a good opportunity to get my work out there and get it seen," she said.

Like most artists she will be open between 11am and 6pm each day during the event.

Kennaway House trustee David Birch said they were delighted to host Open Studios launch.

Part of the trust's charitable objectives is to promote learning of the arts and heritage.

"We see it as a way of putting ourselves on the map as a venue for all the arts and would like to explore the possibility of using the Cellar Bar as a musical venue," he said.

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