Chichester Open Studios Art Trail ready to welcome you

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Two weekends of Chichester Open Studios Art Trail lie ahead, a chance for the public to meet local artists in person in their own creative worlds. It also offers a platform for emerging artists to showcase their talents and engage with a wider audience.

From its beginnings in 2001 as Open Doors, Chichester Open Studios – Art Trail (COS) has established itself as a key event in the Chichester art event calendar.

The trail will be held on May 18, 19, 25, 26 and 27 (Bank Holiday Monday). It currently includes the City, Eastward, Seaside, Peninsula, Harbour and Downs areas which can be explored individually or as a whole.

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“We are so fortunate to have such a vibrant and eclectic number of talented artists in this area,” says trail chairman Jazmine Saunders.

Jazmine Saunders (contributed pic)Jazmine Saunders (contributed pic)
Jazmine Saunders (contributed pic)

The trail this year comes on the back of a happy relaunch after nearly folding. Jazmine stepped up as chairman when the previous committee stepped down and finding replacements proved problematic. But things have since turned around nicely. The trail kicked off with an exhibition at Oxmarket Contemporary, a Snapshot exhibition from April 16-28 which showed one piece of work from the artists who are being showcased on the art trail.

On the trail there is usually between 120 and 170 artists: “We have got 149 so I do think we've done pretty well this year. I would have liked 150 on the money but we're not far off!”

One of the key things is the renewal: “I would say that about 35-40 per cent of artists are new to the trail.”

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Jazmine is enjoying the enthusiasm she senses for the whole event: “Artists are saying that the art trail is part of Chichester history. It's been running for 23 years. I know the artists just really enjoy the opportunities to show their work and talk to people. They are also offering demonstrations so visitors can actually see the process.

“We've got some artist interviews on our website. We sent out a Q&A to several artists and asked them why they enjoy being part of the art trail. One of them said that it was ‘pivotal to my journey as an artist.’”

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