Artists ready for Derbyshire Open Arts event

Artists in Derbyshire have been opening the doors to their studios during the Whitsun bank holiday weekend for 11 years now, so the team behind the event has decided to tweak the format a little.

With so many artists and makers taking part it was becoming increasingly difficult to visit everyone in just three days.

So this year we have Derbyshire Open Arts Plus with several of the venues being open on extra days from May 30 to June 4.

There are 226 artists taking part, from photographer Darren Bartholomew and painter Saima Rasheed in Hadfield in the north to Ami James a textile artist in Swadlincote in the south. Among them are new faces such as oil painter Alison Vasey in New Mills and Tracey Coverley who produces celebrity figures as textile sculptures and will be at Whaley Bridge.

There are also quite a few new venues too, such as artist Jennie Merriman’s home in Darley Dale and The Folly in Lea, near Matlock, which is home to animal artist Frances Daunt. Even Scarthin Books at Cromford will be taking part with an exhibition of work by Liz Wellby.

Below artsbeat has picked out some of the new and interesting venues you might want to visit.

We haven’t put in all of the details so you will have to download the DOA brochure with full details and a map online at

First time exhibitors

For 2017 Derbyshire Open Arts are delighted to be welcoming several new faces and venues and say they are particularly pleased to see artists from the south and north east of the county joining in.

At Barn Croft in Eggington, off the A38 towards Burton upon Trent you will find two artists, ceramicist Lesley Nason and jewellery designer Sheila Read.

Artist Paula Hallam is opening up her home in Timberbrook Close, Oakwood, Derby, and textile art designer Ami James will be demonstrating in her haberdashery shop Simply Needlecraft in Swadlincote.

Not too far away at 173 Main Street, Ticknall, you will be able to meet three artists Peter Wood of Greenwood Days, who specialises in making furniture and wood working; Jane Bevan, who makes beautiful vessels using using natural materials and Mary Johnson, a ceramicist whose work has a contemporary twist.

In the north east of the county it is Chesterfield which is attracting more artists to take part.

One of the most interesting buildings worth visiting is the Clocktower Business Centre, Works Road, Hollingwood. The old Staveley colliery works office building still has a lot of its original fixtures. Inside you will find painter Lynne Evans and printmaker Patricia O’Brien.

At Chesterfield College’s West Studios in Sheffield Road you will find work by a student collective The Young Contemporaries.

Painter Clare Hill and textile artist Susanne Haywood have got together to exhibit their work at 667 Chatsworth Road and painter Linzi Pattison and her friend Sarah a jewellery designer can be found at 213 Lockoford Lane, Tapton.

New faces

There is a fascinating array of new artists joining the open studio event this year in a variety of disciplines.

Textile artist Tracey Coverley will be at 9 Rock Bank, Whaley Bridge, with ceramicist Helen Brocklehurst.

Tracey is the inspiration behind Handmade in Horwich End and she is currently making a series of celebrity figures out of fabric.

Woodworker Matilda Simon will be joining an event regular, feltmaker Linda Moss, at her smallholding Brookfold, The Wash, Chapel-en-le-Frith. Apart from Matilda’s unique woodcrafts there will also be lambs and chicks.

Val Hudson is inviting people to her home in Springfield Road, Barlow to see her contemplative abstract oil and wax paintings.

She has opened her studio for Sheffield events before but never for DOA.

Jo Basnett creates all her ceramic pieces by throwing stoneware clay and then bisque, and barrel firing them. She can be found at 67 Mellor Road, New Mills, with four other artists including painter Ruth Marsden.

Hardwick and Fixter, aka Karan Fixter and Angie Hardwick create bespoke ceramic clocks and small sculptures and they will be at Holymoorside Village Hall.

Sculptor Andy Stuart works in stone and steel and is inspired by buildings and architecture. He will be working from his home Rose Tree Cottage, Main Road, Wensley.

Barbara Coulham makes unique decorative and practical items from recycled window and bottle glass. She will be at the United Reformed Church Hall, Holymoorside.

Venues with food

There seem to be more venues serving food this year, as more pubs offer space to artists and various groups add baking to their creative skills. Here are just some of the ones we have spotted.

At The Oakwood in Glossop you will be able to see seven artists including Deiniol Williams who creates medieval inspired earthenware tiles.

At The Pack Horse in Hayfield you will be able to see the pen and ink wash drawings of James Horton alongside three other artists.

Holymoorside Village Hall near Chesterfield is home to seven artists including at least two new faces including painter and printmaker Sarah Sharpe. There are always lovely lunches and cake available.

Evie’s Art Group is a gathering of local artists from Parwich and they will be in the very stylish Parwich Memorial Hall  where they are promising homemade cakes.

One of the most beautiful venues has to be the Haybarn at Beechenhill Farm, Ilam near Ashbourne.

Here you will find the owner Sue Prince and nine other artists who are all members of the Peak District Artisans (see page 28 on the online edition for more details).

The barn is used as a wedding venue, and as the farm is organic you can expect some tasty treats on offer.

Working studios

There are venues with multiple artists exhibiting spread across the county from Take Ten at the United Reformed Church Hall, Hardwick Square East in Buxton, to The Gallery at Arkwright’s Mill in Cromford and Bank’s Mill Studios in Bridge Street, Derby.

At the Derby University venue you will be able to meet eight artists in their working studios. They include Farah Batool with her ceramic wall art and jewellery; abstract artist Lor Bird; mixed media artist Susan Bedford; Barbara Colbert who works with charcoal; Stevie Davies, who works with fused glass; Mig Holder, a mixed media artist; Elsie Jayne, who creates handmade clothing and ceramicist Sue McNair.

At Long Eaton Art Rooms among others you will find the unusual jewellery of Mary Graham who works with porcelain and knitted fine wire, and at Brook Street Studios, Glossop one of the artists will be Kathryn Fruish who creates jewellery inspired by ancient symbols.

A new group of artists in the heart of the county are Eclectica – jewellery designer Zoe Adamson, painter Kate Beinder, animal artist Frances Daunt and glass artist Stephanie Platts. They will be exhibiting at The Folly, Main Road, Lea, near Matlock.

At Fritchley a group of seven artists named Medley will be exhibiting.

“We decided to join forces after meeting at various seasonal craft shows. We felt we could work better as a group and put on a really great showcase of high quality crafts,” said one of the seven, Chantal Kelly, who works with stained glass decorative panels.

The other Medley members are Richard Pearson, a potter; Janice Allen a jeweller; Fiona Laing who makes handmade pens from wood; Anne Alldread who uses traditional felting techniques to produce a range of accessories and artists Karina Goodman and Ruth Gray.

Their first event together will be at Fritchley Congregational Church in Chapel Street,  Fritchley, on May 26 for a preview event from 5pm-8pm and then May 27-29 from 10am-5pm.