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.”


  1. Neos sounds fantastic. Where are the programmer? Not seen any

    1. It's at http://www.northeastopenstudios.co.uk/catalogues.asp

  2. I tried to complete visitor evaluation as stated in open studies booklet but each time I enter the address given which has/visitor 2012 added to one for this web site, I get reply that it does not exist. So I have arrived here to say I cannot complete the form.