Arches Open Studios in Southampton this weekend

Arches Open Studios in Southampton this weekend

Resident artists from the Arches Studios in Southampton will be throwing open the doors to their studios this weekend (September 17 & 18) and inviting the public to explore their creative space, get involved in a varied programme of activities, and get up close to some of the work that has been made over the last year.

Arches Open Studios 2022 is a free, family-friendly event taking place on Saturday 17 (11am-5pm) and Sunday 18 September (11am-3pm), which will offer the opportunity to take part in a range of activities led by artists, including hands-on workshops, demonstrations, and studio tours. The weekend will also host an exhibition and shop where visitors will be able to browse and buy original and unique artworks created by the Arches residents.

The weekend will also feature live music from 12pm to 5pm on the Saturday from local musicians The Bees Knees, Pegasuses, and Rose’s Diary, with the Southampton Ukulele Jam returning to bring the singalong classics on the Sunday.  Refreshments will once again be provided by The Butcher’s Hook, Southampton’s original craft beer micro-pub, with speciality coffee and bakes brought to you by Partners in Coffee, and authentic and flavourful Thai and Chinese food served up by Mama’s Kitchen.

Saturday’s programme will also offer the opportunity for visitors to join the Arches residents for Artist Drinks, from 5pm until 8pm, to meet and network with artists and arts professionals from across the region. Artists Drinks is open to all, with a soundtrack provided by local DJs.

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 more than an exhibition – It’s an opportunity for me to take stock of the past year. It’s an opportunity to see myself and my work though a stranger’s eyes.

“This year is starting to feel like we are getting back to normal after the pandemic.  It would be great to connect with more people from outside the Arches Studio environment and let them see what I have been up to this past year. My emphasis has been to be less stressed and freer and I hope this is seen in my work from 2022 so far.”

 Artist Neil Kelly said: “I visited the Open Studios event last year and just knew it was a place I wanted to work in. A year later I hope some of my continuing zeal will rub off on our visitors.”

Arches Studio resident  Erica Szuplat recently joined the studio community. She said: I’ve just moved over from the US this year, and am excited to have a space at Arches. As an oil painter and sketcher, the people and locations around the city are already making their way into my work. I’ll be in my studio and am looking forward to meeting people from the community. You’ll likely find me working on a series of large-scale portraits in oil on paper.” 

The Arches are situated in Grade II listed Victorian archways at Southampton’s former cattle market.

 The  studios are managed and supported by Southampton arts organisation ‘a space’ arts, who also run God’s House Tower, the city’s award-winning 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 18th year of the studio project, and we continue to be proud to be able to support a great community of talented artists that choose the Arches Studios as their base. 

 “The studios are a key part of the ‘a space’ arts mission to support visual artists in Southampton, and have a come a long way since their humble beginnings. It’s fantastic to see how the project has developed over the years to become the hotbed of creativity and community that we have today.”

 You can browse the full programme and plan your weekend at Arches Open Studios here.


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