Open Studios: Winter Edition: Thursday, June 16th to Sunday, June 19th, 10 am to 5 pm daily.
Opening of Group Exhibition at Prince Albert Gallery: Wednesday 15th June – 6 pm.
Winter Workshops: Tuesday 14th and Wednesday15th June.
See website for details: www.princealbertopenstudios.co.za
Since its inception 5 years ago, Prince Albert Open Studios has gained much traction with art lovers and afficionados, both local residents and visitors from afar.
This could have something to do with the town itself, which encapsulates all the charm and warmth of this gem in the Karoo and a can-do approach to life, making it something of a creative hub that has attracted a surprisingly high number of respected artists. The relaxed, laid-back atmosphere is enlivened by the contrasts and extremes that typify the Karoo. The resident artists are, likewise, a diverse bunch and there is always a sort of ebb and flow as some leave town and others move in, so there is always something fresh going on.
While some open studios are characterised by strict organisation and structure, we relish the individuality (dare I say ‘eccentricity’?) and independent spirit of our members. As Barbara Castle, editor of the Prince Albert Friend, wrote after the first event 6 years ago, “The Prince Albert Open Studios is driven by the enthusiasm and talent of local artists… There isn’t a committee. There isn’t a board. “We don’t ‘do’ meetings. We just ‘do’ art”… The joy is that each artist has the freedom to offer visitors a private look at their particular creative process. Some do it with music, some with wine, some with soft silence.”
Since then, we’ve grown a lot, and some degree of organisation has evolved, but even this is a flexible process and members are currently gravitating towards “going back to our roots,” keeping it a distinctly laid-back but high-quality Prince Albert experience, pretty much like everything else about this special place!
If visitors don’t have the time or stamina to visit over 20 studios, they could start with a visit to the Group Show, hosted by the Prince Albert Gallery, which features one work from each participating artist. This enables them to see at a glance which art resonates with them, so that they can prioritise visits to those particular studios.
The winter edition of open Studios is particularly lively, and a popular feature is the Winter Workshops, offered by some participating artists in the two days leading up to the opening. In June, one can do some hands-on lino cutting with Di Johnson-Ackerman, pinch pots with Sue Savage, encaustic wax and mixed media painting with Sue Hoppe, and mindful drawing with Rebecca Haysom.
June Prince Albert Open Studios participants are:
Di Smith, with guest artist Leli Hoch – Di van der Riet Steyn – Diane Johnson-Ackerman – Erika van Zyl – Heleen de Haas – John O’Sullivan – Kevin de Klerk – Maruanda Wynne – Pat Hyland – Renée Calitz – Sally Arnold – Sonja Fourie – Sue Hoppe – Sue Savage – Samantha Reinders (to be confirmed) – Prince Albert Community Trust: Elcado Blom, Knipoog Media Team of PACT – Prince Albert Gallery – Guest artist Anna Marie Stone. Also showing there: Deidre Maree – Turid Bergstedt – Doos Gallery (Jannie uitlander Koast to Caroo Exhibition)
The creativity doesn’t end with art though, as the town is also known for excellent eateries and food products and a huge variety of character-filled accommodation options too. This makes a visit during Prince Albert Open Studios a must-do experience! Be sure to secure your accommodation in good time.
You’ll find all the info you need about the latest Open Studios on the website: https://princealbertopenstudios.co.za/