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Newcastle arts and culture event draws up spring programme

ByDave Stopher

Mar 22, 2018

A weekend-long event that celebrates the work of local artists and makers in Newcastle’s cultural quarter will open its doors to the public this spring.

Ouseburn Open Studios returns on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 March, 10am-5pm on both days, and will offer a unique insight into the working world of more than 100 local artists and designer-makers.

Running for more than 20 years, Ouseburn Open Studios takes place in March and November every year and is a chance for the public to meet local makers, buy or commission work directly from artists, and go behind the scenes.

Five venues from across the Ouseburn Valley – located a short 15-minute walk from Newcastle city centre – are taking part in this spring’s event including The Biscuit Factory, Kiln, Northern Print, Jim Edwards Studio and 36 Lime Street.

The spring programme includes:

  • The Biscuit Factory – Inspired by International Women’s Day, the gallery is spotlighting inspirational women in the creative sectors, their skills and local success stories with a weekend that celebrates local female entrepreneurship with pop ups, workshops, demonstrations and open discussions.
  • Kiln – The workshop and kitchen welcomes back its monster making drop-ins, with the public invited into its studio to get to grips with clay and make whatever comes to their imagination.
  • Northern Print – The gallery will showcase the work of Japanese artist Katsutoshi Yuasa. Using Mokuhanga – the traditional Japanese woodcut process – his work reflects on photographic and digital images and the time spent in making these hand carved works. He has won international acclaim for his beautiful woodcut prints including the main prize as part of International Print Biennale in 2014.
  • Jim Edwards – Jim will showcase his new collection of large Nightscape biro drawings of the River Tyne, reminiscent of his sketchbook work. Meet Jim in his creative workspace, where he’ll be on hand to talk about his working practice, from the initial thumbnail sketch, to the finished painting.
  • 36 Lime Street – 22 artists and makers will open their spaces over all five levels of this listed building. The theme in the street level gallery is Change, inspired by the centenary of the first votes for women. Visitors can also buy raffle tickets: covetable miniature prints designed by members and printed by Lee Turner of Hole Editions. This raffle will help raise funds for building works, with prizes made and donated by members and other local businesses.

Rachel Brown, project coordinator and general manager of The Biscuit Factory, said: “The Spring event has a laid-back vibe and being smaller in scale means that visitors can take their time to explore the different venues. Whether that’s discovering the freshest of work being created from within the studios, enjoying a newly launched exhibition, dropping into a demonstration or booking into a workshop. It means that visitors can personalise what they want out of the weekend.

“For many it’s a great opportunity to purchase or commission exciting new work for their home, for others it’s about supporting our local creative community or learning a new craft. We hope there’s something for everyone to enjoy, from families to first-time visitors, aspiring artists to seasoned collectors.”

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