Somerset Open Studios

16 Sept- 1 Oct 2023

Somerset artists are making final preparations for this autumn’s Somerset Open Studios event, with a flurry of activity in creative spaces across the county. This autumn will see the first full Open Studios event since 2018, with over 300 artists taking part.

Discovering what goes on in artists’ studios can be enlightening, surprising and thrilling; a revelation of the magic behind the process and the chance to meet the artist or maker. For both artists and visitors, it’s a chance to forge an enduring relationship and a unique opportunity to find out what lies behind the intrigue of an image or hand-crafted object. It’s also an opportunity for the casual viewer, the curious, to see what goes on behind normally-closed studio doors. Artists value the engagement that the event provides; a chance comment or connection can sometimes provide invaluable encouragement.

This year’s Guide cover artist, printmaker Julia Manning says: “Somerset Open Studios means endless chat, people from the past, meeting old friends, locals who have no idea of what goes on behind our garden gate and buyers who have made the effort to come from far away. A happy, exhausting time!”

Somerset Art Works has developed some new ways for audiences to find out more about the artists, and events, featuring this year, and the journey of discovery that visitors can go on. For 2023, an artist profile campaign, In The Studio, provides a series of special artist interviews on the SAW website, delving deeper into the process, studio secrets and thoughts behind the work.

A unique SAW Members’ group show, Behind The Scenes, examines artists’ preoccupations at this time with a large display of artwork at Taunton Brewhouse. Artists have been invited to submit one artwork, accompanied by a short statement which looks at where artists find themselves, and their practice, after the past three years.

SAW is excited to announce that it is working with Visit Somerset in a new initiative to give an increased presence for the event, and its artists, on the Visit Somerset website. As one of the counties’ largest and most anticipated cultural events, Somerset Open Studios is the perfect way to discover so much of what Somerset has to offer- beautiful scenery providing inspiration, and fine hospitality tucked away in every corner of the county. This support from Visit Somerset will enable visitors to discover more about the event, as part of planning an itinerary- whether it's a stay in the county or part of a packed day out.

SAW is also working with the region’s best-read visual arts and performance listing, Evolver Magazine, with a special, enhanced Open Studios supplement in the September/October edition, including added listings to accompany a double page map, detailing all of the studios taking part- and it's the only county map of the event in print!

The much-loved Somerset Open Studios Guide returns again, and is now available in cultural centres, libraries and tourist information points across Somerset and beyond. Full details are also available on the Somerset Open Studios App, available to download for iPhone and Android, as well as the Open Studios page on the SAW website, with a full Event Calendar, and details about Family Friendly Weekend activities.

For more details, and to plan your visit, please visit or

JimW Julia Manning Paul Stubbs 27

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