Follow the red dots to map out Argyll artwork at its best
THE Red Dot Open Studios Trail promises to be the biggest and best to date, with 50 of Argyll’s most talented artists throwing open their studio doors to the public from 28 – 31 August.
The event, organised by arts organisation and artists’ network, Artmap, will give visitors the chance to go behind the scenes of studios across Argyll, see works in progress and buy original artworks, all set against the backdrop of some of Scotland’s most stunning scenery.
From Port Appin to Campbeltown, Dalmally to Tobermory, each venue has a numbered red dot along the trail which visitors can follow using Artmap’s Open Studios Directory and map: http://artmapargyll.co.uk/ map/
The Red Dot Open Studios Trail was set up by Artmap in 2008 as part of its commitment to supporting artists, increasing sales of local artwork, and helping to grow Argyll’s reputation as a vibrant creative hub with local people and visitors alike.
Since its inception in 2008, the event has grown in size and popularity year- on-year. Last year’s event saw more than 5,600 local, national and international visitors flock to the area, generating an impressive £48,000 in sales – a huge boost to the local economy.
Christopher Cox, Artmap chairman said: ‘The Red Dot Open Studios Trail is a fantastic opportunity for the public to go behind the scenes with some of the most talented, creative artists we have here in Argyll and see how their work is made.
‘ With each artist having their own distinctive style of work in their chosen medium, there really is something for everyone.
‘And we hope that people will enjoy the journey to reach us in our various beautiful locations, just as much as the fantastic array of artwork we have on offer.’
Margaret Ker is just one of the artists taking part in this year’s event.
She said: ‘Artmap’s Open Studios event has provided me with the opportunity to be part of the larger art community in Argyll and it inspires me to make new work every year to show and sell directly to the art-loving and art-buying public. I enjoy welcoming visitors to my studio.’
This year, three new venues have joined the Trail, including Scottish Natural Heritage’s Art at the Mill at Taynish, which features an exhibition of work from pupils at Lochgilphead High School as part of the Snapberry Project and a free outdoor art trail along the mill path down to the shore.
Situated at the Taynish National Nature Reserve, the Taynish Mill trail features specially made artworks from ten Artmap artists, including Lesley Burr, Sian MacQueen and Melanie Chmielewka, giving visitors a fantastic opportunity to experience the extraordinary natural habitats, seashore and landscape and see how the artists have interpreted stone, ceramic, glass, concrete, willow, textiles, mirror and print to sit in their chosen settings.
For the second year, Taynish also hosts work by the artist, Rob Mulholland, on the stunning shore of Loch Sween.
Caroline Anderson, Project Leader, Scottish Natural Heritage said: ‘Having the Snapberry project included in the Open Studios event is hugely important for Scottish Natural Heritage and the pupils from Lochgilphead High School who have participated in the project.
‘The exhibition at Taynish Mill is an ideal location to showcase the images the pupils have captured while out on the Argyll National Nature Reserves and working in conjunction with Artmap has enabled them to reach a wider audience.’
To plan your art trail, simply follow the red dots – a map of which can be found on the Artmap website at: artmapargyll.co.uk/map/, or download the Red Dot Open Studios Trail directory at: artmapargyll.co.uk/ artists-venues/#all, or simply follow the red dot roadside signs.
For more information visit: artmapargyll.co.uk/ or find us on Twitter at: twitter.com/artmapargyll and Facebook: https:// www.facebook. com/artmap