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Culture: On the trail of art

Suffolk Open Studios
Suffolk Open Studios

Returning for its seventh year Suffolk Open Studios offers people the chance to see the county’s rich vein of artists at work – it’s time to get creative and plan your visit

Take a look behind the scenes of artists and see them in action at this year’s Suffolk Open Studios event.

Returning for its seventh year, the event sees artists around the county opening their doors to the public at weekends offering a unique opportunity to see their creativity first-hand.

Running over four weekends starting on June 2, it’s a date for the diary. Open Studios chairman Cally James said: “This year’s programme promises to be one of the most exciting yet. We’re expanding and diversifying the Open Studios concept but keeping the intimacy that visitors like of being able to see and ask about artists’ work within their own studios.”

“With such a broad range of artists and galleries showing work across the entire visual art spectrum, there’s no better way to see and understand the state of art practice in Suffolk today.”

But if you can’t wait that long, whet your appetite at the Inspirations exhibition of paintings and sculpture by participating artists which opened in The Apex, Bury St Edmunds, this week and will run until May 7.

To learn about artists taking part and see examples of their work you can visit suffolkopenstudios.org where there’s a map showing the location of all participating artists and galleries so you can start planning.

Some artists have organised themselves into hubs, so visitors can see the work of a number of artists in one location, while others have organised trails to follow.

A printed directory will shortly be available in galleries, libraries and tourist information centres and downloadable from the website. This year, the directory has been grouped into local regions (Babergh, Forest Heath, Ipswich, Mid-Suffolk, St Edmundsbury, Suffolk Coastal, Waveney) making it easier for visitors to identify studios nearby and plan their visit.

And if you support Suffolk Open Studios iyou will aslo be ssupporting Suffolk Artlink, a charity which develops and delivers inclusive arts programmes in communities. Its projects aim to help people transform their lives through the arts, and are delivered in places including community centres, hospitals and hospices, residential homes, refuges and schools. Their work is led by experienced arts practitioners, encompassing a variety of art forms, and delivered in close partnership with care, education, voluntary and community organisations.

To support the charity’s fundraising efforts, Open Studios artists have contributed works to a prize draw which will take place during the Inspirations exhibition at The Apex. Tickets can also be bought online from suffolkartlink.org.uk/sos2018 until May 31.

Arts & crafts

Some of Britain’s foremost artists and craftspeople will be exhibiting their work in Risby this June to help raise funds for farming people in hardship.

The Trooping the Rural Colour exhibition featuring Creative Coverage artists takes place at The Gallery Highwaymans from June 8 for one month and will raise money for The Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution.

It will feature glass pictures by Sue Purser Hope from Norfolk, who is also chairman of the Contemporary Glass Society, and there will be paintings by Larain Briggs, Michael Jevon, Chrissie Havers, Gerry Defries, Eric Pentecost and Len Murrell and Richard Whittlestone.

Creative Coverage co-founder Tim Saunders said: “As the gallery is in a rural location it is very appropriate it has decided to organise this exhibition to raise funds for The Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution. This, our third exhibition at the gallery, will provide visitors with a rich array of work.”

For more information contact Juliet at Gallery Highwaymans on 01284 810283, email. info@highwaymans.co.uk, juliet.fisher@icloud.com or visit thegalleryhighwaymans.co.uk.

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