Arran Open Studios showcases the best of contemporary art and crafts

Gallery assistant at Nick Giles’ Arran Art Gallery, Esther Brown.

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The annual Arran Open Studios weekend has been a resounding success with artists involved reporting a busy weekend.

One of the largest events held on Arran since lockdown restrictions began, the event showcased the wide range of talented artists working on Arran.

The Arran Open Studios initiative aims to promote art on Arran, while providing visitors with an insight into how the artists create and work in their studios.

Over four days, starting last Friday, 30 studios across Arran opened their doors to visitors who were encouraged to look at the work being created and ask the artists  questions.

Visitors were also able to purchase any of their favourite artworks and many artists reported making bumper sales, particularly on Friday, which one gallery described as their best sales day of the year.

On offer was everything from felting, woodworking, painting, quilting sculpting, glass-making, kilt-making to jewellery production.

Tim Pomeroy, one of the organisers of the open studios weekend, said: ‘Reports from a cross-section of studios has confirmed a positive event this year, justifying the faith organisers had in deciding to go ahead when most other Arran events of note were being postponed again.

‘This fact was not lost on visitors who it was noted applauded the fact that AOS has gone ahead.

‘It is thought at this early stage that visitor numbers are slightly down on previous years.

‘But given the continuing uncertainty of Covid-19 and the vagaries of CalMac through weather, breakdown or infection, it is thought that these reduced numbers only reflect a cautious thinking audience for the event.

‘What has been noted is that those visiting are much more focused on discovering the living art of the island than previous years.

‘Fewer are the idly curious. And those focused visitors it would seem have been willing to spend.

‘It is thought that might be a sign of the increased optimism of the further relaxations of lockdown. Though perhaps not as much as in previous years.

‘It is hoped, as it is universally, that next year all aspects of Arran life will have opened up again. Organisers look forward to increased sales and visitor interest in their 10th year.’

In addition to the open studios weekend, an all-year-round Arran Art Trail is available for visitors to meet the artists and see their work at 14 studios, workshops and venues around Arran.

Further information about these can be found on the website at