WORDS Cloe Freeman

Skipton Open Studios, sponsored by Skipton International and produced by ArtHouse Jersey, celebrates the wealth of talented artists and makers in Jersey.

After nine successful years of the initiative, which has formerly seen shipping containers being used as galleries, community art projects in the Royal Square, a steam-roller print-press, special one-off screenings at Havres des Pas, and thousands of locals and visitors to the island visiting visual artists studios, ArtHouse Jersey is redefining the Skipton Open Studios offering for 2018.

For the first time, the producers behind the fortnight-long event have extended the invitation to showcase the creative work of professionals from the industries of Design, Music and Performing Arts, in addition to the fantastic array of visual artists already associated with the project. As always, there’s a huge range of artists participating, at all different career stages and working in almost every style and medium imaginable.

Alice Bravery, Producer at ArtHouse Jersey, said: ‘‘Each year we try to mix up the formula of the Open Studios to keep it relevant to local artists and the wider community. This year it felt essential to broaden the definition of an ‘Open Studio’ to celebrate the wider spectrum of creative people making all kinds of interesting original work here in the island. We’re so fortunate to boast a diversity of talented makers in Jersey and we want to shine a spotlight on their abilities by allowing behind-the-scenes access to their creative process. For visitors there’s no better opportunity to get a sense of the true artistic undercurrent of the island, which plays a hugely important role in our culture and community.’

Have you ever wondered exactly how local artists produce their work? Participating studios and creative spaces around the Island will be free for the public to visit during the weekends of the 23rd-24th June and 30th June-1st July. Many artists will take-over historic properties such as The Elms and Morel Farm, thanks to partnerships developed with the National Trust for Jersey, as their pop-up venue.

Exhibition venues including the Harbour Gallery and Sir Frances Cook Gallery will present the work of their members and CCA International’s Summer Show will coincide with the Skipton Open Studios to showcase work of selected local artists, much like the Royal Academy of Art in London.

ArtHouse Jersey will be announcing details of further special events, workshops, demos and private views taking place as part of the 2018 Open Studios soon.

ArtHouse Jersey will be building up to the event with an opportunity for artists to network, at a free ‘Pizza and Beer’ evening held at the Eagle Labs on Friday 16th March. Artists involved in the Open Studios are invited, as well as those from the wider creative community. More info is available on the ArtHouse Jersey website.

2017 saw ArtHouse Jersey take a break from the Skipton Open Studios to pursue the Skipton Arts Series – the umbrella term that encompasses the Open Studios as well as other community arts events throughout the coming year. Events of 2017 included the successful Paper Talks project which saw thousands of islanders try their hand at the art of paper-cutting, and commissioned projects including the DIY Terrarium Project run by Will Bertram at the Link Gallery and Ben Robertson’s Mural Project, amongst others.

Aaron Waldon, Commercial Manager, Skipton International said: “We have supported ArtHouse Jersey for many years now as their community arts events bring Jersey to life and are something the whole Island can become involved with. Extending the scope of artists able to participate in this year’s Open Studios will no doubt bring new energy to the event and more importantly provide a larger platform to showcase local talent.”