There is no doubt that Open Studio and Art Trail events globally are growing in number and popularity every year. No two events are the same in look, feel or organisation, but they all have a common goal: to bring local artists together and provide a showcase for their work within the community and artist studio environment and create traffic to their doorsteps. It also encourages access to arts and artistic expression often overlooked and can provide artists with a network of opportunities that might otherwise not be easily accessible.


There is no single method for organising this type of event. It very much depends on the resources available, the size of the event and whether it’s artist run or part of a local authority or council initiative. So rather than provide a blueprint, I am instead going to base it on my own experience with Open Studios Cyprus which was first set up in 2006 by a group of artists under the leadership of David Lester (RIP) and Sue Harding. Its original ethos of bringing local artists together and providing a high quality event within and for the community unfortunately only lasted until 2011 when, due to administration difficulties, it was put on ice. This left a huge gap for all participants. a website directory for all artists was dreamed up by Maria Etheridge in the hope of providing a platform for the many artists in Cyprus who work over a broad spectrum of mediums, often with the more traditional fine artist alongside photographers, jewellers, installation pieces and contemporary art. To be a member of artists need to live and/or work in Cyprus either permanently or on a part time basis.


Maria is in the process of organising an Open Studios weekend over the weekend of the 5th and 6th of September 2015 ... on a shoestring budget. If this event proves to be well received, it will become an annual event for which fundraising can be done well in advance, with appropriate advertising and publicity. ‘This year is an experiment,’ she says, ‘but I have high hopes for the future.’ If you would like to participate in this unique weekend, please let her know on



The venue challenge

Artists without a studio can usually find alternative space and Maria is hoping that networking would provide solutions to every problem. There are teaching studios, restaurants, schools, church halls and other venues that might delight in having you share their space for two days. Just think of the extra publicity and increased stature that this can bring to the venue host!



Financing the event

Funding for this year’s Open Studio event will have to be borne by the participating artists. This means that each artist pays a fee to be part of the event and the more participants, the better we may spread the cost between us. So get your fellow artists, sculptors, crafters, quilters, jewellery makers, photographers, potters and mosaic workers – everyone! – together and let’s create an event that will show the increasing number of tourists what we are made of. And don’t lose sight of Pafos 2017! Let’s lay a good foundation now.


To make things easier, it would be advisable if you joined – have a look at the website and see what you will get for a mere €15.00 per year (or part of any year) membership fee. Every member has their own page – it belongs to them to use in their own publicity material – and shows up to 8 examples of their work. An OPEN STUDIOS tab will be created on the website, directing visitors to your page where they will find detailed directions to your studio or venue of choice, together with all your relevant information. There is also an interactive map for mobile use which we are int he process of updating. There is a bonus offer for OS participants who are not yet members!

Sounds like a good deal to me!

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