A total of 94 studios have been selected to take part in this year’s Spring Fling – Scotland’s ‘premier open studio weekend’.
The event takes place from 25 to 27 May across Dumfries and Galloway, attracting 10,000 visitors from all over Scotland, the UK and overseas, and generating over £1.2 million for the regional economy.
The event is a chance to meet high quality painters, original printmakers, ceramicists, jewellers and glass makers, wood and metal workers, photographers in the places where they live and work.
Joanna Macaulay, Events and Exhibitions Manager for Upland which runs Spring Fling, said: “We have an amazing range of artists and makers taking part this year – really underling why Spring Fling has become such a popular and successful part of Scotland’s arts scene.
“As ever it’s a chance to meet some remarkable people, visit some extraordinary homes and studios and explore one of the most beautiful parts of Scotland.
“This year Spring Fling will be more family friendly than ever and we will also be running a whole series of classes and workshops either side of the event for those who would like to learn from our artists.”
Many exhibitors are well known at home and abroad such as glassmaker Amanda Simmons and slipware makers Fitch and McAndrew from Corsock, award-winning wildlife artist Lisa Hooper, of Port William, as well as Kirkcudbright textile designer Morag Macpherson and willow weaver Lizzie Farey.
From elsewhere in the region there are the visual artist Bea Last of Kirkgunzeon, Harry Potter book illustrator Clare Melinsky, based near Thornhill and Waterbeck husband and wife Heather and Colin Blanchard – a painter and printmaker.
Spring Fling will be welcoming fresh talent, with 13 new faces, including David Rushton in Sanquhar, who creates scale models of building interiors, and abstract painter Glenda Waterworth (one of three artists in Drummore near Stranraer).
Others are in the early stages of their careers. In 2019 this will include Jordan Chisholm (performance artist) and Sarah Rogers (jewellery) as part of Upland’s Emerge bursary scheme, which provides business and arts mentoring.
There will also be Jennifer Hastie (mixed media) and Heather Spicer who are benefiting from Upland’s New Graduates Scheme to support people during the transition from studenthood to career.
Spring Fling also makes space each year for artists from neighbouring regions – including Cumbria, Northern Ireland, Ayrshire and the Borders as well as Springbacks, who have connections with the region but are based elsewhere. For 2019 there will be mixed media artist Kate Mink who now lives in California.
A pop up exhibition is planned from 5 to 13 April at The Oven in Dumfries to give a foretaste of all that’s on offer.
This year’s Spring Fling is supported by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.
Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events for VisitScotland, said: ‘EventScotland is delighted to once again be supporting Spring Fling through our Beacon Programme, with funding going towards public artwork WaterOrgan and the event’s studio workshops.
“Scotland is the perfect stage for cultural events, and it’s great to see such a strong line-up this year, with artists and makers hailing from across Dumfries and Galloway and beyond.”