Arran artists first opened their studios to the general public. There seems nothing extraordinary about this – other regions and localities have held similar events. But this was the first year that Arran Artists, coming together under the guidance of Arran Open Studios, pulled towards such a wide-ranging initiative incorporating painters, sculptors and all manner of craftspeople. The event has run each year since and should be bigger and better than ever in 2016. It is fast becoming part of the established Arran calendar.
The event was organised by Arran-based painter Josephine Broekhuizen and Arran-based drama-teacher, Sarah Cook who applied for and received funding from several sources including Leader, the Arran Theatre and Arts Trust, North Ayrshire Council.
This funding, along with subscriptions from participating artists provided for the setting up of this website and the production of the Open Studios Event brochure; this was the menu and road-map (literally) of the event. It was a ‘must-have’ for anybody visiting the studios on the island giving directions, access issues, advice on parking, what type of art was being displayed and also, usefully, provided information about nearby cafés, hotels restaurants and places of interest. Visitors could plan their studio visit around a local coffee shop, restaurant or tearoom.
Visitors came from far and wide, Britain, Germany, America. Most visitors filled in questionnaires to gauge their responses to the event . This information has been very useful for the organisers. It will help to develop it into an even more successful event.