C-Art ‘Open Studios’: More than 80 venues open their doors

C-Art ‘Open Studios’:

More than 80 venues open their doors for Cumbria’s biggest visual arts event

A diverse arts trail featuring more than 110 artists and designers will bring Cumbria to life with an array of exhibitions, open studios, workshops and special events for two weeks from Saturday 10 September 2016.

Co-ordinated by Eden Arts, ‘Open Studios’ is all part of C-Art 2016, which is now one of the biggest visual rural arts projects in the North of England. The Open Studios events will span a record-breaking 81 locations from Morecambe Bay and Cumbria’s west coast to the historic border city of Carlisle and the Lakes and Dales in-between.

The Open Studios will enable visitors and local residents alike to talk directly to artists, watch demonstrations and take part in interactive workshops.  An array of creative arts are included, ranging from lino printing, ceramics and calligraphy to glass fusing, paper sculpture and even Japanese raku pottery-making.

Now in its sixth year, it is a great chance to see private galleries and studios that are usually closed to the public, and purchase unique pieces direct from the artist who made them. 15 of the locations have been designated as ‘Extraordinary Places’ where you wouldn’t usually expect to find works of art, ranging from lake shores to stately homes, castles and churches.

C-Art is also a positive boost for Cumbria’s economy. During the first five years of C-Art (2011-2015) visitors have made a remarkable 109,915 studio visits, which in turn has led to art sales of £544,668. It’s hoped that this year’s event will continue to build on that success.


A brief taster of C-Art’s Open Studios 2016 (Saturday 10 – Sunday 25 September) includes:


  • Eden (35 locations) – Eden Arts’ HQ at the Old Fire Station in Penrith will be hosting the The Old Fire StationUnstationary Artists’; a collaborative of 11 Cumbrian artists exhibiting a mix of drawing, sculpture, painting, video, photography and installation. Other locations include an exhibition celebrating the best of paper cut art called ‘paperscissorbook’ at Shap Old Magistrate’s Court and artist Rachel Fenwick’s ‘Looking for a Sign’ on the shore of Ullswater. The romantic ruins of Lowther Castle will welcome artists including animal painter Jo Mcgrath.


  • Carlisle (12 locations) – Highlights in Carlisle include Rosie Galloway Smith, who will be working with the public to populate a large fabric map of the flooded city centre with
    embroidered names and stories in the medieval Guildhall Museum. Meanwhile, Carlisle Cathedral will provide the majestic setting for an exhibition of recent work by Rowena Beaty in limestone and marble.


  • South Lakes, Copeland and Barrow (19 locations) – Martin Miles-Moore will be demonstrating the Japanese technique of Raku firing at Foulstone Farm in Lupton, heating pots quickly to a temperature of almost 1,000 centigrade. He will also be touring further afield, visiting Brantwood, Florence Arts Centre in Egremont, and Tebay Services. Other Open Studios locations in South Cumbria include Daniel Cooper’s base at Askham-in-Furness and the 19th century Sprint Mill in Burneside.


  • Allerdale (14 locations) – Christine Hurford’s ceramic cockroaches will be a talking point at Bark House, Ashness Bridge, while students from the Lakes College in Workington will be demonstrating a range of work including photography, sculpture, painting and video from across the college community. In Cockermouth, Helen Jackson will be showcasing fused glass panels, jewellery and functional pieces inspired by the natural world.Ashness 4


See the full listings at: www.c-art.org.uk


Jo Bramley-Wright, from Eden Arts, says, “C-Art’s Open Studios bring together a string of art and craft workshops, demonstrations and special exhibitions, with lots of opportunities to explore the landscape and experience some unique creative talent in some truly extraordinary places. As well as celebrating artistic innovation, creativity and diversity, it is a fantastic chance to see art, buy art and meet the makers.”



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