21st Spring Fling Will See 100 Studios Open Their Doors To The Public

One hundred studios across Dumfries and Galloway will be throwing open their doors for the 21st Spring Fling.

Scotland’s leading open studios weekend, which is from 27 to 29 May, is a superb opportunity to meet wonderfully creative people who live and work in one of Scotland’s most beautiful rural regions.

All have been specially selected and include contemporary visual artists of every kind – such as painters, illustrators, original printmakers. There are also jewellery makers, potters, willow artists, glass makers, woodworkers, textile artists and even two blacksmiths. Many of the participants will be familiar to regular Spring Fling visitors but as ever the organisers, Upland CIC, are keen to introduce fresh participants.

New artists for 2023

This year there will be 18 new artists and makers such as ceramicist Abbie La Rooy, who will exhibit at the Gracefield Arts Centre in Dumfries, visual artists Sally Jennings, in Kirkpatrick Durham, Erinclare Scutton from Port Patrick and Katy Quinn from Kirkcudbright.

Among those returning for 2023 are jewellery maker Lisa Rothwell-Young from Langholm, potter Sam Sparrow from Thornhill, furniture-maker Ian Cameron Smith from Kirkcudbright, photographer Kim Ayres from Castle Douglas and visual artists such as Lisa Hooper from Port William and Joanna Shennan from Dumfries.

Kim Ayres will be returning as an exhibitor at this year’s Spring Fling.

Joanna Jones, Upland Assistant Director, said: “Artists and makers from all across the region have shown huge enthusiasm for taking part in this year’s Spring Fling – and we’re delighted that visitors will have the chance to visit and enjoy 100 studios.

“As ever the open studios weekend will be a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the art and craft of one of Scotland’s most vibrant creative communities and spend time in a spectacularly beautiful rural region. The fact that this year will be the 21st Spring shows just what a successfully and popular event it has become, attracting large numbers of visitors from all over Scotland, the rest of the UK and overseas,” said Jones.

Vital support for artists

Spring Fling plays an important role in supporting artists and makers who are often working in remote areas – and also in contributing to the region’s economy.  Since its conception, Spring Fling has attracted around 169,000 visitors who have made over 500,000 studio visits. In 20 years over £9.9 million has been spent in the studios and the event has brought over £16 million for the region’s economy.

Spring Fling brings attention to artists and has contributed £16 million to the region’s economy since its conception 20 year ago.

Visitors will be able to follow six colour-coded routes taking them round studios in different parts of the region and some studios will have special evening openings and offer other attractions like walking and bus tours and, demonstrations on the lead up to the event.

This year the organisers have been acutely aware that the ongoing financial crises has affected many artists and makers creating a barrier for many to take part in such events. Upland has increased the financial support by offering more bursaries for participation and launching a brand new scheme CREATE with the support of the Barfil Trust. CREATE not only offers a free place in the event but is a platform for experimental installation work that might not fit in the open studio setting.

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