Saturday, 31 August 2013

NEOS 2013 ARTISTS AT THE WALDORF Workshop / Demo Programme

14th - 22nd September 10-5pm

Venue : Aberdeen Waldorf School, Craigton Road, Cults, Aberdeen. AB15 9QD

'Opening Doors to Creativity' is the ethos of NEOS, in 2013 it is our reality!

Click on link below to see our extensive Workshop / Demonstration programme.  Don't forget to book as places will be limited.

Artists at The Waldorf Workshop/Demo Programme

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

NEOS Dates for 2013 Announced!

NEOS 2013: 7th - 29th September
Visit for more information

Are you an artist working in the North East of Scotland looking to take the next step?
Do you want to engage with your public, get feedback and demonstrate your skills?
Do you want an entry in a high quality, professional year-round directory, distributed to thousands of outlets and available for free, all year?
Do you wish to meet and network with other artists and be inspired by new work?
Then you should join North East Open Studios!
Our sign up starts on the 1st March and runs until the 31st March. Be sure to kept informed of our news by signing up to our newsletter

As the number of artists, galleries and art centres opening their doors during the traditional nine days of NEOS has grown we have decided to split the region of the North East into three distinct geographical areas taking place over a three week period.  The 'North' section will open 7th - 15th September; 'Central' from 14th - 22nd, and Aberdeen City and South 21st - 29th.  Venues will also have the option to be open throughout the whole 3 week period.  The NEOS catalogue will include a map showing the different areas and will contain three sections for the different weeks with each artist being listed in their geographical area. 

The 2013 NEOS Event will run from Saturday 7th September till Sunday 29th September.

  • - The 3 week event will be split into geographical areas – North, Central and South. Aberdeen City would be included in the South section.
  • - There will be overlapping weekends between weeks to maximise visitor numbers.
  • - The split will be as follows:
  • • North: Sat 7 – Sun 15 Sept
    • Central: Sat 14 – Sun 22 Sept
    • South & City: Sat 21 – Sun 29 Sept
    If you wish to find out more about NEOS 2013 please go to our website: or email us on:

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

North East Open Studios 2012 set to become the biggest one to date

The popular North East Open Studios event is taking place once again in September this year and just under 300 local artists have signed up to be part of it.

Starting out as a small open studios event with a couple of dozen artists back in 2003, NEOS has since grown into the biggest open studios event in the whole of Scotland, currently competing for the largest in Britain.

The geographical spread is enormous: from Buckie on the Moray Coast down to Montrose and all the way inland to Braemar, visitors will be able to spot the characteristic yellow NEOS signs during the 9-day event held from 15-23 September.

Image: David Pettigrew
In uncertain financial times for many cultural organisations, the artist-led, voluntary NEOS organisation is self-sufficient, depending entirely on the joining fees for artists and a handful of advertisements in the catalogue. 

NEOS chairwoman Morag McGee, a ceramicist and participant herself says:” At a time where so many arts
organisations are struggling for funding, NEOS is continuing to grow, move forward and be as successful as ever, which is a fantastic advert for the arts and artists of the North East.”

With its thousands of visitors touring around the North East, NEOS is contributing greatly to the local economies too.

Although the majority of NEOS entrants are individual artists opening their studio doors to the public including
painters, photographers, jewelers and ceramicists, there are also a number of groups displaying work in joint venues this year, such as wood turners and mental health art groups. Hands-on demonstrations, live music and sculpture trails are often organised by the artists themselves to add to the 'NEOS experience'.

In addition to the wide range of artistic media that people are showing off, there is also a huge range of ages amongst participants. NEOS’s youngest entrant is 5-year old photographer Nadine Ralston, sharing the NEOS catalogue with several artists well into their 80s - but still as passionate about their work as ever.  

Morag McGee loves the unexpectedness of NEOS: “You never know what you’re going to find next when visiting NEOS artists. Each year people are welcomed into the most weird and wonderful ‘studio spaces’; from village halls to living rooms, sheds at the bottom of a garden and even a toilet as a gallery. I think this is one of the greatest charms of an open studios event like this.”

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Dundee's Brightest

Dundee’s Brightest 20/05/2012  

It's been a few years since I've made it to the opening night of Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee, so I was pretty excited to have the opportunity to go this year. Accompanied by my trusty accomplice from my own student days at art school in Dundee we set off up the Perth Road to the art school, a well trodden path. A few steps in the door and we were met with a large yellow neon sign which read 'ART NOW' and the smell of popcorn.  

 Armed with my newly purchased brochure for the 2012 show whereby students are referred to as Dundee’s Brightest. Each page features a student, their statement and an image of their work. I'm thinking that things have gotten pretty slick since my day and I’m impressed. First stop is jewellery of course. There are 18 students this year so there was a lot to see. 'Wow' is my first impression as I wander around. We are stopping a lot and saying 'ooh' and 'aw, look at that', it all looks so professional! 

I am struck by how polished (not literally) it all looks and how ready they all look to take on the world with their neat business cards and look books. It's pretty packed, so I'm guessing I'm not alone in thinking how good it all looks. Each individuals work is supported by an artist’s statement and a mac rotating images. There's a real broad mix of themes here. From Palestinian refugees, skin conditions, literature and the tooth fairy. So I’m only going to mention a few. Jennifer Ho's beautiful intricate jewellery is presented against a backdrop of equally beautiful drawings which narrate the story of her work based on family, culture and memories.
Jennifer Ho

  A quick chat with Natali Mazur and she explains that her series of cleverly designed bracelets are made from prescription drugs and silver, which she says is a response to todays view of the preciousness of materials and the misuse of prescription medication in today’s society. 

Natali Mazur
   Karen Smith's work which she describes as 'wearable optical toys', are both skilfully made and stunning.  

 From here I managed a quick look at textiles which was also very impressive. A great feature throughout some of the departments was separate portfolio rooms. This helped create a clean gallery style without the clutter of the portfolios.
 My only disappointment was that I managed to miss the singing Elvis reported to be belting out some tunes on a golden toilet. I could have stayed longer, however the steward/security teams were super efficient at getting everyone out by 9pm on the dot. They made up for it by seeing everyone off the premises with a Taiko drumming session by The Dojo Performance Team. Well worth a visit.  

 On from 19th - 27th May 2012 at DJCAD, University of Dundee, 13 Perth Road, Dundee, DD1 4HT. 

 Aubin Stewart is our first guest blogger and Exhibitions Coordinator for NEOS 2012

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

A Jaunt to North Fife...

NEOS 2012: 15th - 23rd September
Visit for more information

A Jaunt to Fife.....

Well, a weekend in Falkirk presented an opportunity for a flying visit to Open Studios North Fife.  This is OSNF's seventh year with an ever growing audience and artist membership.  84 artists opened their doors to living rooms and studios to show their work, working practices and offer a staggering amount of tea and cakes over the May weekend.

I only just realised that my friends Gavin Burnett and Nicola Cairns were having the grand opening of MAKE Studios at Gateside Mills in Fife, where they have worked incredibly hard to bring together a hot and cold glass workshop, ceramics workshop and gallery space as well as space for other artists to work, the result is spectacular and would be one of the highlights of the OSNF's weekend.

First surprise was seeing Richard Gregory who is one half of Rebott with Nicola Cairns.  Richard introduced us to the Rebox project where they are converting an old horsebox into a mobile gallery and hotshop for working glass.  Everything in the bos is from recycled materials - even down to the screws which were painstakingly salvaged by Richard himself!

Inside the studio, there were glass demos, tours and their resident graffiti artist was just finishing the Make mural.

After spending far too much money we decided to take a wee look at the entrants in Auchtermuchty, which we were happy to find out was the birthplace of Sir Jimmy Shand, this gave me the opportunity to tell my Grandads favourite joke....
First stop was Audrey Reid, a recent jewellery graduate from Duncan of Jordanstone.  We walked into her beautiful cottage in the centre of Auchtermuchty to find absolutely lovely jewellery, in fact it was so good we visited twice.
Next was Bun Brough a textile artst who works primarily as an art therapist.  The studio was above a car mechanic but the space was transformed by a partially built Yurt and many pieces made by her clients and  during workshops she delivers.

Steve and Marie Louise Wrightson opened their sunny back yard with summerhouses ful of whimsical and colourful work.  Both had a huge amount of detail in their work.
As we were leaving Auchtermuchty we came across a wee sign for a blacksmiths forge and stumbled over a chap who built his own forge and makes ironmongery in his spare time - it was great to see and have a poke about the tools!

Just outside Auchtermuchty we stopped at Moyra Stewart's ceramic workshop who was also showing with John Smith, woodturner.  Moyra has been incredibly influenced by a process called 'naked Raku' (dont worry, you get to keep your clothes on) after attending a course run by renowned ceramicist Dave Roberts.  Moyra was kind enough to don her protective equipment shortly before the raku kiln reached temperature!

Beautiful Falkland was our next stop where we visited two more ceramicists - Joan Potts and the tremendous renaissance-y work of Karen Ross.

Neither Karen or Joan have websites and do not work full time in ceramics but they both took the leap into the unknown of Open Studios and opened their homes to complete strangers.  This is the joy of open studios, not knowing and seeing people genuinely interested in your work and workshops.

After a walk around Falkland, it was time to go back and hardly a dent made in the 84 entries (with a strong emphasis on visiting ceramics too!)

However, some artists are open next weekend and I cannot recommend the area enough.  Its rather a novelty to be able to VISIT Open Studios for a change!

If you have an idea for a guest blog post, just get in contact with us at
If there is something exciting coming up or if you are about to go away to an event, and want to let us all know about it, just drop us an email and remember to take photos.  We can deal with the rest...
Its our network so time to make it work for us!


Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Want to take part in NEOS ["match-making" artists / venues]

Call for Artists/ Venues

Want to take part in NEOS, but would feel more comfortable showing in a more formal venue?Or are you a venue which would like to take part in NEOS, but you’re not sure how to source and approach an artist?This is a final call-out for YOU – send your details to – and we will add them to our “match-making list”, which will be sent out on Friday… hopefully we can help you find your perfect NEOS partner, and make sure everyone can take part. 

NEOS 2012: 15th - 23rd September
Visit for more information

Monday, 12 March 2012

NEOS 2012 Sign Up is....OPEN!

NEOS 2012: 15th - 23rd September
Visit for more information

Well....Sign Up is Open!

Hello from your new committee!

   It’s our happy job to announce that sign up for NEOS 2012 is officially
   OPEN - you have until Saturday 14th April 2012 to complete your entry,
   send your image and payment.
   Heres the link to the sign up page...

   You will notice there’s a few changes and streamlining of the
   application process this year as well as the usual self-proofing.

   This is NEOS’s 9th year and its developed into Scotland’s biggest Open
   Studios event as well as being one of the biggest in the UK!
   We, the new committee wanted to stay true to the original NEOS ethos
   and for this year, focus on our strongest feature – our booklet.  As
   you all know it’s a year-round directory and comprehensive arts
   listing, enabling anyone to pick it up and be able to contact artists
   and galleries all year round.   You will see that we have tightened up
   the application criteria to ensure that this is still the case in

   We have also streamlined our contact information – our one-stop-shop
   for all enquiries is
   Several committee members check this email every day and it really is
   the most efficient way to get in contact with us.

   The new committee have been working hard to get this all on track for
   you and we thought we would let you know a bit about us and be able to
   see the fabulous skills and experience NEOS gets on a voluntary basis
   from its core committee members, first up in this bulletin is our Chair
   - Morag

   NEOS Chairperson – Morag McGee
   Morag is a ceramicist who lectures at both Grays School of Art and
   Banff and Buchan College, she has taught and developed arts activities
   for schools, councils and community groups all around the North East as
   well as developing her own practice.  As well as showing in Galleries
   around the country, Morag is also involved in public arts projects and
   feels she is well placed to take NEOS forward in 2012.  Passionate,
   enthusiastic and organised.  Morag has been picking up all the NEOS
   thread these past few weeks in order to hit the ground running for
   2012.  Her motto…. “Bring it on!”

Happy Sign-Up Folks

The NEOS Committee

Friday, 9 March 2012

NEOS 2012: 15th - 23rd September 2012

Call for Artists:

Blairs Museum is always looking for artists to exhibit in the space at the back of the beautiful church in the peaceful surroundings at Blairs.
We are currently seeking artists who work in different types of media (fine art, print, sculpture, ceramics, mixed media, photography) to take the opportunity to utilise the space and serenity 4 miles out of the city centre on the South Deeside Road. Remember!
Blairs is also seeking artists to show during NEOS 2012, so grab the chance to be organised before sign up happens!
Please contact Vikki on 01224 863767 if you are interested at any time of the year.

Visit for more information

Monday, 30 January 2012


The AGM has just been confirmed for Saturday the 18th of February from 10am - 1pm at Airyhall Community Centre on Countesswells Rd, Aberdeen, AB15 8AD.

As ever there will be a chance to network with other creative individuals and to vote for new members of the committee.

Refreshments will also be served.

or on the NEOS FaceBook AGM Event (soon to be posted), but please do NOT telephone the committee.!/groups/302559721861

We look forward to seeing you at this year's AGM.

SOS ~ Save Open Studios

Since its inception in 2003, NEOS has grown amazingly and now beginning its 9th year NEOS urgently needs the membership to help make sure NEOS still continues to thrive.

North East Open Studios will be losing 8 of the 12 committee members at this year's AGM.

This is major news and will certainly have a detrimental effect on the future of NEOS if the membership cannot help.
No committee means no NEOS 2012!


If you are interested in joining the committee, or know of someone who is, we will shortly be sending out role descriptions for each position listed below for you to consider, as well as nomination forms to be returned.
Please feel free to forward this information on to anyone you think may be interested.

We ask you to consider your commitment to the committee and the membership carefully if you do wish to fill one of the positions available. NEOS has been very lucky to have a supportive, proactive and attentive volunteer team
and needs this to continue, it does not need sleeping members!

Roles to fill: Chairperson, Treasurer, Coordinator, Graphic Design & Web, Secretary, Minutes Secretary, and Press & Social Media.