The annual Cambridge Open Studios event returns as the workshops and studios of 350 artists, craftspeople and designer-makers across Cambridgeshire open their doors over four weekends in July to showcase painting, ceramics, sculpture, handmade jewellery, glass, photography and much more.
This is a great opportunity to see artists at work, to discuss their techniques and inspiration and to browse, buy or even commission their work, although there is no pressure to buy. Entry to all studios is free. Last week, I caught up with a couple of participants who are getting ready for Open Studios.
Regular readers of this blog may remember photographer, Sara Rawlinson, who I first met last September when I wrote about her journey from seismology to photography and her exhibition at Michaelhouse, “Illuminating Cambridge Libraries”. Over these past months, Sara has continued with her project, taking stunning photographs of more college libraries. She has plans for another exhibition and is also branching out into flower photography, particularly looking at tiny details, the texture of petals and frosty grasses in monochrome.
Sara is looking forward to opening her home studio in Beche Road for the first time and will be welcoming visitors on all four weekends. Find out more about Sara and her work on http://www.sararawlinson.com
Over at Rowan in Humberstone Road, the student artists are hard at work creating beautiful pieces in their studios. Rowan is an arts centre for people with learning disabilities and there’s truly a family atmosphere here. The student artists are supported to be autonomous, encouraged to learn and try new things and to enjoy being together in the light, airy social spaces that run through the building.
The work spaces were a hive of activity when I dropped in last week, with gorgeous cards being produced in the Print Studio, wooden phone stands, lamps and candlesticks coming from the Woodwork Studio and bright felted wool scarves hanging up to dry in the Textiles Studio.
The Ceramic and Mixed Media studios were equally busy and the Rowan team, who are old hands at the Cambridge Open Studios event, are looking forward to welcoming visitors on the weekend of 7 and 8 July. Proceeds from the sale of the student artists’ work go straight back into the charity to enable their remarkable work to continue. Rowan also takes commissions for one off pieces. You’ll find more on http://www.rowanhumberstone.co.uk
In a new initiative, Cambridge Open Studios has joined forces with ofo bikes this year, with the dual aim of helping visitors travel between city centre studios easily whilst reducing the environmental impact of the event. You can locate ofo bikes using the free ofo Smartphone app, available from the App Store or Google Play. Then just use a code printed in the Open Studios yellow guidebook to claim five free one hour ofo bike rides and get pedalling!
Studios will be open to visitors from 11am to 6pm on July 7/8, 14/15, 21/22 and 28/29 and entry is free. Do bear in mind that not every artist will exhibit every weekend. You’ll find printed guides for this event in shops, galleries and libraries. You can also go to the website to download the 2018 COS App which gives full details of the Open Studios together with an interactive map to help you with planning your day and navigation.
This event takes place at multiple locations in and around the city.