Cambridge Open Studios
Cambridge Open Studios
Cambridge Open Studios is a flourishing community of artists, craftspeople and designer-makers working throughout Cambridgeshire. We aim to bring artists together with the public, making studios and workshops accessible at certain times of the year. We hope to both demystify art and spread the word about the enormous amount of talent we have living and working in our county today.
Cambridge Open Studios (COS) is one of the oldest open studio events in the country. It has its roots in the 1960s when a small group of artists invited local people to visit their studios and see how their art was produced, as part of a movement to make the arts more available for all.
Today COS comprises hundreds of artists including painters, sculptors, jewellers, photographers, illustrators, furniture makers and many more. We help to promote the making of original works of art and craft, and to forge a lasting relationship between local people and local makers.
Across four weekends each July, many of our members open their studios and workshops to welcome the public. This annual Open Studios event forms the centrepiece of our activity. Visitors can see works in progress, as well as speak to artists and get a rare glimpse into an incredible range of arts and crafts. Some artists will have items for sale, though there is never any pressure to buy. Some will offer refreshments, entirely at their own discretion. It’s a fun, friendly and highly welcoming atmosphere. We encourage visitors to make a day of it, planning a route through the City or through local villages to experience as much of the art being showcased as possible, and enjoying some of the local eateries en route!
We produce a guide every year letting people know who will be exhibiting and when,
as not every artist will exhibit on every date.
Opening dates are at weekends, when participating studios will be open from 11am-6pm. Should an artist not be open on a particular weekend, or perhaps not even exhibiting during Open Studios, you are invited to contact the artists as they will happily arrange a time for you to visit.
Our guidebooks are available at Tourist Information points, libraries, art galleries and other public places. Full details are also available on our website: www.camopenstudios.co.uk. An open studio will also be marked with a yellow flag so visitors know they’re in the right place. There is no need to have any knowledge of art whatsoever – we want people to experience it in any way they like, as an aficionado or a complete beginner.
We work to promote art across Cambridgeshire in other ways as well. Galleries and arts organisations in the Cambridge area are featured in a special section of the printed Cambridge Open Studios Guide and on our website. This allows them to promote events, exhibitions and other activities throughout the year and to be closely associated with a major annual arts event taking place across Cambridgeshire. Galleries and organisations can apply to be included in this section; again, see website for deadlines and application details.
Exhibitions and events are held throughout the year by individual artists and groups. Our website Events page gives more information about current and upcoming events. If you are interested in joining COS either as a working artist or as a public friend, please visit our website for full details of the application process. You can follow us on Twitter or Facebook. You can also find us on YouTube.