Southampton artists at Arches Studios opening to the public this weekend

Southampton artists at Arches Studios opening to the public this weekend

A group of Southampton-based artists will be throwing open the doors to their studios this weekend and inviting the public to explore their creative space, get involved in a packed programme of activities, and experience some of the work that has been made over the last year.

Arches Open Studios 2021 is a free event taking place on Saturday 25 (11am-6pm) and Sunday 26 September (11am-3pm), which will offer the opportunity to take part in a range of artist-led activities including hands-on workshops, demonstrations, and tours. The weekend will also host an exhibition and shop where visitors will be able to browse and buy original artworks created by Arches residents.

Stewart Beckett, resident artist at the Arches Studios, said: “Open Studios is a great opportunity to chat and engage with people interested in art and how it’s made. I like to see people’s reactions to my work, and for this Open Studios I invite visitors to help me make a piece of art. I am interested to see if there will be a reluctance or eagerness to participate.”

Peter McGinnis, whose artistic practice is based at the Arches Studios, said: “Open Studios feels like I am allowing the world a sneak preview of my secret world. It is not an exhibition. It’s an opportunity for me to take stock of the past year. It’s an opportunity to see myself and work though a stranger’s eyes.”

The weekend will also feature live music from 12pm to 5pm from local musicians including Rob Clamp, Ricky Tart, Olly Lewis, Steve Lowis, and the Real Raj – all  arranged by Sound Level Events. Refreshments will be provided by The Butcher’s Hook, Southampton’s original craft beer micro-pub, with gourmet coffee from Oslar Coffee, and authentic and flavourful Caribbean food being served up by Natty’s Jerk.

This is the 17th Open Studios event, and the first to take place in person since 2019 in the grade II listed Victorian archways at Southampton’s former cattle market.

The Arches Studios are managed and supported by Southampton arts organisation ‘a space’ arts, who also run God’s House Tower, the city’s newest arts and heritage venue housed in one of Southampton’s most iconic historic buildings, as well as delivering a range of projects aimed at developing the city’s cultural offer, supporting artists and engaging with audiences.

Dan Crow, ‘a space’ arts director, said: “This is the 17th year of the studio project, and we are proud to be able to support a great community of talented artists that choose the Arches Studios as their base, as the studios are a key part of the ‘a space’ arts mission to support visual artists in Southampton. The studios have come a long way since their humble beginnings, and it’s fantastic to see the project develop and become the space that we have today.”

You can browse the full programme and plan your weekend at Arches Open Studios here (opens a PDF).

You can find the Arches Studios underneath Central Bridge, accessed from Captain’s Place, just off of Terminus Terrace.

Entry and activities are free.

Find out more about ‘a space’ arts on their website.