…..about the Courtyard Open Studios Weekend

Courtyard Studios, Irvine

Courtyard Studios, Irvine

I’ve been awake for the last few hours trying to decide what to do about this years Courtyard Studios Open Weekend.   As you probably know if you’ve been following the last 234 blogs, every year we have an Open Studios Weekend.  This always takes place on the first weekend of October…..this year, (our 12th such event I think) will be on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th October.

The event was originally set up by WASPS back in 2002 I think, with each of their studio buildings taking part.  I’ve obviously only been involved with the Courtyard in Irvine but, over the years, we’ve slowly honed the event to meet our needs and it has generally been a very worth while thing to do, especially in terms of promoting the Courtyard as a venue for professional and quality arts in the region, and to some degree, as a means of creating opportunities and sales for the participating artists.

A successful event each year doesn’t however just happen, it takes a lot of hard work organising and promoting it. Over the years first with WASPS help and then more recently off our own backs, we’ve created something that people in the area know about and support ….in the last couple of years we’ve had close on 300 visitors through the door over each of the weekends……but as I say, it does take a lot of work.   In the past Anita and I have always taken an active part in helping to organise the event at the Courtyard and we’d said that we’d do the same again this year.  However, back in July WASPS announced that they were developing the event further  this year with plans for extra money for workshops, artists talks and promotion and that they’d be looking for an official ‘Open studios rep to co-ordinate things  this year.  This will involve a lot more work than normal for whoever does the job.

As you know, I have been busy recently getting paintings ready for The Biscuit Factory autumn exhibition and now that they’re away, I have to put most of my efforts into preparing for the big drawing event and exhibition that I’m holding at the Harbour Arts Centre starting on 27th November.  This is still three months away but there is a huge amount (both creative and organisational) to be done for it.  As such, I told those attending the Open Studios weekend meetings, that I’d not be able to take on the extra work now involved in being official rep for the event and asked that someone else volunteer to do  it this year.

Surprise, surprise however, just yesterday Anita and I received an email from WASPS asking what was happening re the Open Studios Weekend at the Courtyard and whether we were going to be co-ordinating things again this year and as such, act as reps for the event.   This is why I’ve been awake half the night!  I really can’t take on the extra work now involved this year and it would be great if one of my colleagues would pick up the reigns.  Here’s hoping…..!   Oh well, whatever happens, we’ll get there in the end and it will as usual be a great event, so make sure you put it down in your diary:

Courtyard Studios Open Weekend

Saturday 4th / Sunday 5th October 2014

Open: Saturday 11 am – 5pm, Sunday 12 noon – 5pm

Hope to see some of you there.

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