open studios AYRSHIRE assessment
We enjoyed the recent Open Studios days very much - although for all but Sunday, we were very quiet, and that's a bit frustrating when you've gone to a lot of trouble to make the studio/gallery look so nice! Plus the days seem very long when you're waiting for the doorbell to ring. On the Sunday, people came in droves, the day flew by and it was all good. And why not? This is a beautiful conservation village and there are other things to do here: a good country pub, a community shop and cafe, a wonderful historic kirk and kirkyard with a world class stained glass window - and lots of lovely scenery.
We don't know the reason for the other quiet days. The weather was good. The weekend was very well organised by a team of lovely people, the brochures, posters and leaflets were ace - we distributed a lot of them - and there was plenty of publicity. We suspect that the main problem might lie with the reluctance of people to travel outside Ayr, especially when there aren't quite enough participating artists in rural areas to make a visit worthwhile. Comparisons with Dumfries and Galloway's Spring Fling event are interesting - more rural studios and galleries so that people can schedule a tour or two. But then, that event has been going for a very long time and miracles always take a little longer! It's all too easy to complain when we know that people are working their socks off for no recompense - and should be congratulated for it.
So we plan to keep participating and we also plan to have an occasional studio/gallery open day of our own, throughout the year, just so that people get used to it. The next one will be over the weekend of our village Music Festival in mid June, 14th and 15th. Watch this space for more details.
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