Open Studios North Fife: a free, fantastic day out!

Derek Robertson, painter from Balmerino in his studio.Derek Robertson, painter from Balmerino in his studio.
Derek Robertson, painter from Balmerino in his studio.
Visit artists, designers and makers in their studios across North East Fife over the holiday weekend, April 29 to May 1.

This is the eighteenth year of Open Studios North Fife and the event is as fresh and exciting as ever. Over the weekend of April 29 to May 1, from 10am to 5pm, 73 artists, designers and makers will welcome you to their studios and share their beautiful work with visitors. This award-winning free event is a very popular annual attraction, with people travelling from all over Scotland to this lovely part of Fife. Participants include a showcase of extraordinary talent and include nationally and internationally recognized artists, designers and makers. This year, there are 11 new participants, alongside artists who have been involved for several years.

Leaflets which detail artist locations are widely available in many public places, and the event website is an essential source of up to the minute information, including maps and directions to each venue.

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Uniquely, this award-winning event focuses on the working practice and creative processes of the participants. Visitors can see, for example, different printmaking techniques, how paintings are built up from sketches or textiles, jewellery, glass, clay or wood is fashioned into beautiful artwork. They can also enjoy a peek at the fascinating and often quirky workspaces artists use. Garden studios, spare rooms and attic spaces all feature and will provide unique insight into artistic working lives. There are often pretty gardens to view and most artists provide information about other things to do in their area, making for a very enjoyable day out.

Many artists have undergone life changes in the pursuit of their creative interests. Grant Newell from Ladybank for example, has become a bookbinder - from a previous role as an accountant. For other artists, a change of location has sparked new interests. Jane Wheeler located to Cupar from South of the border and her new environment has rekindled her love for painting. Other artists focus on important global themes. Derek Robertson from Balmerino will be showing new work for his ongoing project "Migrations" that links climate change and refugee crises using migrating birds as a metaphor for people. His current paintings in the series focus on the situation in Ukraine.

Through the generous support and donation from The Howe of Fife Rotary, Open Studio North Fife offers a yearly bursary to enable one promising new artist to take part in the event and showcase their talents free of charge. This year’s bursary has been awarded to Cally Nurse, whose work can be seen in Newburgh.

Hayley Mills, chairman, said: “We know how much art matters to people in this changing world, and this event is a perfect opportunity to connect with it. All of us involved with Open Studios aim to bring joy, intrigue and delight to our visitors and welcome them warmly to our workplaces.”