Unfortunately, the COVID 19 pandemic wiped out any possibility of the Open Studios Cornwall event going ahead in May. And we feared, like so many other artists that all our careful planning would be for nothing.
Thankfully, after a period of consultation with the hundreds of artists, designers and makers who were due to participate, and a welcome downturn in infection rates, the organisers took the brave decision to reschedule the event for the 29th August.
It's not an ideal date for everyone, but the new ten-day period which ends on the 6th September spans a bank holiday, which is fantastic news for anyone who loves to travel the county visiting the artist clusters like Krowji or remote studios hidden in the isolated coves of Penwith Peninsular.
Open Studios is not exclusive to Cornwall. It runs in Devon, Cambridgeshire, Warwickshire, North Yorkshire, South East and many more locations throughout the UK. It is usually an annual event which lasts from a few days to a few weeks and is typically free of charge. Although there is an unspoken expectation that if you like what you see, you will reward the artists with a purchase or two.
In Cornwall, the event was originally started by three well-known artists, but as anyone who has ever organised a popular festival or annual event knows, it's hard to maintain the momentum without help. So fourteen years ago, Creative Skills (previously Creative Kernow, formerly KEAP and ACT) took on the enormous challenge of making it into what it is today.
2019 saw the most significant number of participants to date, with over three hundred and twenty creatives opening up their private workspaces to the public. Unfortunately, the necessity to reschedule, the government guidelines for sharing spaces and the looming threat of further contagion have dwindled numbers this year to two hundred.
Happy to accommodate the new dates and guidelines, we are looking forward to throwing our doors wide open to spotlight the work of our resident artists. Hopefully, it will provide a unique opportunity for them to share the creative processes which define their art. It's also a chance to enjoy some impromptu discussions, mutual appreciation, meet fellow artists, chat about materials, compare inspirational locations and find out about hidden gems in the hollows of Cornwall you never knew existed. Hopefully this year we will be one such diamond in the heart of Penryn that will be found by many.
We will be open every day during Open Studios Cornwall 2020 from Thursday 26th August until Sunday 6th September (12-6) for coffee & cake, conversation and guided tours of the gallery & resident artist studios, so feel free drop by if you are in the area to meet Dave Pentin, Derek Hayes & Lee Kellgren and see the exhibition of work by Nicola Mosley.