Suffolk Open Studios 2021 launches

Evelyn Polk  will be taking part in Suffolk Open Studios 2021

Evelyn Polk will be taking part in Suffolk Open Studios 2021 - Credit: Suffolk Open Studios

Suffolk Open Studios is returning for four weekends in June, inviting the public to tour our ‘creative county’ and get to see how the magic is made in dozens of artists studios hidden away behind hedgerows and in small villages.

Suffolk Open Studios first started in the early 1980s as a small event in north Suffolk held during the Aldeburgh Festival, offering visitors to the county a visual arts strand to the outstanding musical experience they were enjoying.

As Suffolk Open Studios chair Emma Lea explained: “Over the years the event has just expanded and has got increasingly popular and is now a major event in the Suffolk calendar.

“Suffolk Open Studios now has more than 130 members and it’s a changing, evolving membership. Not everyone shows every year and so people can visit a differing, widespread number of artists each time. It’s always fresh and there’s always something new to see.”

Ceramic artist Cally James at work in her studio. Cally will be taking part in Suffolk Open Studios 2021

Ceramic artist Cally James at work in her studio. Cally will be taking part in Suffolk Open Studios 2021 - Credit: Suffolk Open Studios

Among the new innovations this year is the introduction of the Suffolk Open Studios app which brings all the details that used to be provided in the printed directory straight to your phone.


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The app has a directory of all the artists exhibiting and can be sorted by location or by discipline. It can also supply details of the artist trails in defined areas, so you can visit a number of artists in a particular area during a visit.

Emma said: “The adoption of the app has been driven by the regulations surrounding the Covid lockdown. We decided not to produce a printed directory this year because we weren’t sure whether Open Studios would be going ahead and when a decision was made it was clear that the places that would usually display it were still closed because of lockdown.”

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By transferring the artist information onto the app means that all the details visitors need about the artists work and how to find the studio is delivered straight into their hands.

The paintings of Ruth Simpson will be on display as part of Suffolk Open Studios 2021

The paintings of Ruth Simpson will be on display as part of Suffolk Open Studios 2021 - Credit: Suffolk Open Studios

“The GPS location finder will take visitors straight to the artists door.” In addition to artist trails there are also artist hubs at various locations throughout the county where a number of artists share a space and can exhibit work together.

“The beauty of the Suffolk Open Studio weekends is that visitors can get a sneak behind the scenes. They can get up close to the work, talk to the artist and discover exactly how a piece of work is created.”

Louise Ferrier at work in her studio. Suffolk Open Studios allows the public an opportunity to meet the artist

Louise Ferrier at work in her studio. Suffolk Open Studios allows the public an opportunity to meet the artist - Credit: Suffolk Open Studios

The artist trails also mean that they can discover new artists that perhaps they may not have thought of visiting.

“It’s all about celebrating the remarkable creative talents of the people of Suffolk, You never know what wonders are being brought into being in studios, tucked away at the end of lanes or behind hedge rows and Suffolk Open Studios is a great way to find out.”

Art Hubs which display work from a number of artists in one location will be a feature of this year's Suffolk Open Studios

Art Hubs which display work from a number of artists in one location will be a feature of this year's Suffolk Open Studios - Credit: Suffolk Open Studios

Art trails are available for Ipswich, Saxmundham, Shotley, Framlingham, Bury St Edmunds and the Heart of Suffolk covering a wide area around Nayland.

Suffolk Open Studios are holding their open days on June 5-6, June 12-13, June 19-20, June 26-27.

You can download the Suffolk Open Studios app and get further information about who is opening their studios on the website.

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