Artists in central Fife join forces to open their studios this autumn

Central Fife Open Studios artists
Central Fife Open Studios artists

Fife is, by any standards, a cultural hotspot.

Artists, musicians, writers – all abound across the Kingdom.

Arts festivals large and small proliferate in all the airts and pairts.

One of the most successful events has been the East Neuk Open Studios project, which sees artists in the area open their studios to the public for a couple of weekends in the year.

That’s been followed by the Central Fife Open Studios with a group of artists in the heart of Fife launching their initiative last year, with everything from glass and ceramics through metalwork and painting to textiles on show.

And such was the success that the group has already called for artists to register for this year’s event.

Pat Beveridge is a Glenrothes artist who is one of the organisers of the event. She explained that her fellow organiser Patricia Bray had tried to launch an open studios event a couple of years ago – but she was the only artist who responded.

“We tried again last year, though,” she went on, “and got a lot more responses, with 18 artists taking part. This year we are hoping to double that.”

As a textile artist, Pat is keen to see more people in her field joining in.

“Textile art is often seen as a craft rather than high art,” she says, “it does not have the regard that painting or printing does in some circles.”

But Pat’s work puts paid to that idea as she incorporates a huge range of techniques into her work, from using computers to good old fashioned embroidery.

From wall hangings using beautiful fabrics, often dyed and painted by Pat, to small framed pictures, her work discreetly displays the range of her talents.

A keen artist all her life, it was only in the last few years that she developed her skills into fabrics. A City & Guilds course at Fife College was followed by a part-time degree course at Edinburgh College.

“It was fantastic working in the studios with the young students,” Pat commented, “I thought I knew a lot already but quickly realised how little I did know.”

Now retired from her career as a primary school teacher, Pat works full time as an artist, with her work currently on display in Islay, from where much of inspiration comes, and in Aberfeldy.

Her work has received many accolades, including as a finalist in the V&A Inspired by ... competition two years ago.

As a professional artist, she wants to see her level of commitment and expertise reflected in the artists who want to open their studios in September: “We want to see good quality work and professionalism from the artists who decide to join in this event,” she says.

But she adds: “That doesn’t discount amateurs from joining us if they demonstrate the high standards that we are trying to promote.”

Central Fife Open Studios takes place on September 17 and 18, when artists’ studios will be open from 10.30am until 6pm each day.

Artists are asked to pay a £50 fee to join in to cover the costs of printing promotional material.

CFOS is open for registrations until February 29 and more information is available at www.centralfifeopenstudios.org.