Somerset Open Studios 2021 is underway, showcasing the work of more than 300 Somerset artists in more than 200 studios and spaces across the county, including here in Burnham-On-Sea.
The event started on 18th September and runs until 3rd October, allowing visitors to go behind the scenes to meet artists, find out what inspires them and experience their working process.
Studios are in a variety of unique situations and the event is the perfect opportunity to discover hidden locations and workspaces, either in person or online.
In Burnham-On-Sea, Judith Champion (pictured above) is opening The Old Piggery Studio in Middle Burnham Farm, Stoddens Lane, Burnham to show Drawings, Mixed Media, jewellery and Paintings.
And Cora Stock, pictured below, is showcasing her Ceramics, Pottery and Printmaking at 47 The Esplanade. She says: “With the help my daughter, we have run several very successful Raku firing days for our students in Burnham. Our pots and sculptures have been fired in a home made gas fired kiln to a 1000 degrees Centigrade, then taking the pots out of the kiln when red hot and putting them into a smoking bin filled with sawdust and shredded paper. On cooling we were very excited by the glaze effects we achieved of changed surfaces and lustrous colours. I have had quite a bit of interest from our visitors who have come to see the etchings, hand built pottery and sculptures.”
A spokesman for the county-wide event says: “For 2021, visitors can experience and explore artists’ workspaces in new and different ways.”
“A fold-out venue map and listings, available in cultural venues, will help visitors plan their journeys and navigate the 16 days of Open Studios.”
“Also new for this year is an Open Studios App, providing full venue details including art forms, accessibility information and opening times.”
The App works offline and links to Google Maps to take you straight to the studio door! A map and venue listings, along with artist images and editorial will also be available in the September/October edition of Evolver magazine, the arts and culture guide distributed across the Wessex region.
He adds: “This year, there is an increased focus on improving access for visitors- information is available in a range of formats, in print and online, and artists are doing their best to ask if they can help to make access easier to venues.”
QR codes will help visitors locate information easily- just scan the codes where you see them to take you to the App.
The Open Studios page on the SAW website will contain all venue details, as well as information on the event programme with workshops, talks, films and have-a-go activities listed.
Every weekend is Family Friendly Weekend with a range of activities suitable for families of all shapes and sizes!
Work by artists taking part in the recent Somerset Reacquainted project will show in ‘Community’ at Taunton Brewhouse and there is also a special exhibition, ‘Thread Bearing Witness’, with work by Alice Kettle at Somerset Rural Life Museum in Glastonbury.
Artists have made preparations to ensure that venues are Covid-safe including waiting areas and some venues may be open by appointment only.
Please follow the latest guidance when entering artists’ studios, including wearing a mask if required, hand sanitising, social distancing and complying with Covid safety information at each venue.
Please also check venue details before making a special journey- or phone ahead. Many venues will be happy for you to make an appointment.
After a difficult few months, artists will be pleased to welcome you and show you what they’ve been working on and will value your support as we all venture out to experience the wonderful variety of art and creativity across the county this autumn.
For more details, please see: somersetartworks.org.uk/what-