Open Studios Altrincham is a social enterprise which opened in January 2013. The Studios is the brainchild of local artists, Jo Cushing, Matt George and Vicky Flood who established it to promote Altrincham as a hub of creative and cultural exchange and community engagement. You may have seen the fantastic summer exhibition ‘Hidden Studios’ that which saw artworks displayed in surprising venues across Altrincham. Cafes, bars and boutiques became gallery spaces for two weeks in July. One of the favourites was a fabulous work by internationally renowned Altrincham resident Paola Bazz. The Hidden Studios exhibition showcased work by professional artists and makers the Studios ethos is to be completely inclusive. Jo wants Open Studios to be somewhere that everyone can be creative, from the absolute beginner to the professional artist or maker.
Open Studios offers weekly classes in textiles, life drawing, painting and drawing, games design, animation and after school art. Short courses include, photography, games design, jewellery, graffiti, animation, comic, colour, wreath-making, linocut, robots, teeny tiny pot, acrylics, origami, felting etc. Groups include Art and Craft, Altrincham Urban Sketchers, Printmaking Group, and Photography. Wednesdays at Open Studios are when members can come in and use all the facilities including a darkroom, printmaking press, ceramics kiln and computers. There are members' exhibitions twice a year.
Open Studios has a membership scheme costing £5 per month. The aim, eventually, is for this to pay all the bills for the organisation including rent, utilities and expenses. Since moving to their current home on Ashley Road more than a year ago, Jo has seen an enormous growth in student numbers and classes. There are now 150 users overall of the Studios, 469 Facebook followers, over 2 000 Twitter followers and over 2 000 Meetup followers. Over three hundred people subscribe to the Studio’s newsletter.
Over the past year Jo has been successful with several large funding bids. Funding from Trafford Housing Trust enabled them to start a new and very popular Autistic Animation Group. Have a look at some fantastic animation work below. Funding has also been received from Awards for All to start a photography and creative writing group. There are two groups, one on the Broomwood Estate in Altrincham and another in Altrincham town centre, partnering with Bluesci.
Jo's aim is to create a studio atmosphere where people meet, share ideas, learn, be inspired, create and exhibit work. A fully inclusive socially creative environment. Don’t be intimidated! Come along and try something new or rekindle your passion for making art.
Find out more at www.openstudiosaltrincham.co.uk