Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Celebrating artistic talent in Devon…

Did you know that Devon has more working artists than any other county in the UK? From 3rd to 18th September 2011, the Devon Open Studios project, with over 370 artists exhibiting in 146 venues, creates an ideal opportunity for art lovers to visit Devon. You can meet the artists in their studios and even see them in action. It’s a phenomenally successful venture - there were over 25,000 studio visits during last year’s event – and we’re delighted to be sponsoring the project again this year.

For 2011, we’re also proud to support their Emerging Artist Bursary Scheme to help fresh talent develop their young careers. Our bursaries are going to the five impressive artists below who express their creativity through a variety of media, ranging from photography and mosaics to crayon:
  • Amy McCarthy - glass (pictured)
  • Kirstie Benbow - mixed media
  • Melanie Beer – painting and glass
  • Nigel Waters – mixed media
  • Francesca Dawson – drawings
We’ll take a closer look at each of these five artists over the coming weeks, starting with Amy McCarthy. Amy’s stained glass and mixed media is inspired by the beautiful Devon landscape and she produces striking, simple designs which reflect her love of colour. Waste glass and recycled or found objects are incorporated in to her mixed media mosaics which have been exhibited around the South West.

Amy set up an online shop and art glass studio in 2009 after a career in mental health. In a remarkably short time, she has built up a thriving studio with a steady stream of commissions and a busy exhibition diary.

Recycling and environmental art are a dominant passion; last summer she won ‘South West Water’s Artist Prize’ for a large public sculpture that utilised an old bath and discarded glass to create a vibrantly coloured sail boat cruising on a mosaic sea! She intends to create more large sculptures by casting recycled glass. This is a very experimental area of glass art and she’s keen to develop her skills in enamelling, fusing and slumping glass by investing in a kiln for her studio.

The bursary will help Amy with the cost of a gazebo to exhibit her work in this year’s exhibition and with the preparation and promotion of her private view event.

You can watch Amy demonstrate her technique in this video – as you’ll see, her creations are full of colour and vigour and we can’t wait to see more of her work throughout the year.

View our holiday cottages in Devon to book a cultural break in September and follow the studio trail to visit some of the most beautiful, unexplored parts of this county.