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Annual arts event open its doors to working world of local makers


Oct 9, 2017 #Entertainment, #life

An annual event in Newcastle’s cultural quarter that champions the local arts, craft and design scene returns with a bumper line-up this November.

Ouseburn Open Studios, now in its 22nd year, takes place between 10am and 5pm on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 November in Newcastle’s Ouseburn Valley.

The event offers a unique insight into the working world of more than 200 local artists and designer-makers – representing a huge variety of affordable and original work to buy; from paintings, ceramics and sculpture to jewellery, furniture and prints.

Seven venues are taking part this year, offering an eclectic and interactive artistic programme alongside live music, food and drink, suitable for all ages.

This year’s programme includes:

  • 36 Lime Street exhibition Drawn In will include new drawings of views from 36 Lime Street and Drawn Out enables visitors to engage with, draw and display views within the building. Purchase a covetable letterpress ticket featuring prints of studio members’ work to be entered into a special raffle.
  • Cobalt – explore the studios, arts venue and other areas in development. There will be proper coffee, homemade food, fully licensed bar, music, DJs, silent films, riso prints for sale and arts workshops. In the evening ska/reggae/hip hop band King Porter Stomp will be playing (ticketed separately).
  • Jim Edwards Artist Studio Gallery – for his latest exhibition, You Are Here, Jim Edwards will be exploring the themes of wayfinding; knowing where you are, where your desired location is, and knowing how to get there from your present location. A framed limited edition print will also be up for grabs.
  • Mushroom Works – visit a range of artists, discover the techniques they use and discuss the passions that inspire their work. The venue will also be showcasing its ever popular 20cm x 20cm original artworks, all priced at an affordable £20.
  • Northern Print – see artist Bridget Jones’ exhibition of unique prints of paper and textiles and have a go at printing your own winter woodland wrapping paper and gift tags while talking to the studio artists about how they make their work
  • The Biscuit Factory – to celebrate its new contemporary craft space, the gallery will be full of artists and makers at work – from miniature realist painting and resin sculpture to pit fired raku pottery. Enjoy Ouseburn views from its all-new café terrace, featuring a pop up bar, hot toddies and street food.
  • The Biscuit Tin Studio – visit the Life Class exhibition in the gallery which features the work of Biscuit Tin artists and friends, showing drawings, prints and paintings about that most enduring of subjects. Have a glass of wine and try your hand at drawing the figure yourself.

Rachel Brown, Ouseburn Open Studios project co-ordinator and general manager of The Biscuit Factory says: “This year’s event is full of vibrancy. As well as visitors being able to go behind the scenes, there are so many opportunities this year for them to also get involved.

“Open Studios is such a great showcase of the cultural variety we have here in the Ouseburn. It’s a literal open door and informal introduction for many into the working practices of artists and makers and an opportunity to pick up something handmade or design-led directly from the artist’s studio or from an independent gallery.

“For graduates, arts professionals and collectors it presents as a platform for greater engagement; with networking and commissioning being some of the wider legacies that can come out of this weekend event. At its core, Open Studios is a community arts festival that celebrates home-grown creative enterprise and warmly welcomes all to come by and support their local artists.”

Ouseburn Open Studios is open to the public and free to attend. For more information about Ouseburn Open Studios, visit www.ouseburnopenstudios.org

By Emily