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SCENE: Cambridge Open Studios
by Karen Jinks of www.chalkhillstudio.co.uk
For four weekends in July I recently spoke to our current
200 artists in and around Chairman Heidi Lichterman about Cambridge already had an
Cambridgeshire open their doors the history of Cambridge Open established music festival and were
to the public. Studios and the philosophy of it’s willing to help promote the visual
founding members back in 9. arts too and we had a simple leaflet
I have been a member of Cambridge printed with just a list of artists. We
Open Studios for four years and it has “Cambridge Open Studios began also obtained a small grant from
given me opportunties and contacts when a small group of artists decided the council to help with costs and
I would never have received working to escape the limitations of the opened just one weekend to begin
on my own. Joining a group like this gallery exhibitions and open their with. As numbers grew we went to
has allowed me to do workshops for studios to ‘bridge the gap’ between 2, then  then finally  weekends
children, participate in exhibitions, the public and artist. Galleries can and the leaflet turned into the ever
and hold demonstrations of my be very intimidating to the public so popular glossy guide we have today.
work. Plus the feedback I have it was felt that allowing the public
received from people visiting my into their studios and see how In 999 the AGM decided to remain
studio has increased my confidence they work would make buying art artist led; many of the open studio
and profile as a working artist that more approachable. The group was groups that have started around the
goes beyond the sales I may have initially very small, just a few friends country since are council controlled
during the weekends we are open. who wanted to help each other with and funded but we were very keen
promotion but by the time I joined in to remain independent and it is this
There are many open studio groups 95 there were about 20 members. form of the COS that still runs today.”
around the country but Cambridge I took over as Chairman for  years
is one of first and longest running. and the numbers grew to  artists. Heidi Lichterman’s work can be seen
 | ukhandmade | Summer2009
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