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Surrey Artists Prepare to Show Off – And Why Not?

Published on: 9 May, 2022
Updated on: 11 May, 2022

A previous Open Studios display at Oko:Art

By Alice Fowler

Artists across Surrey are preparing to open their doors for this year’s Surrey Artists Open Studios (SAOS), taking place from June 11-26.

In what promises to be a bumper year post-Pandemic, over 270 artists are taking part, with some 170 studios opening for the event. Guildford and its surrounds are well represented, with a Guildford Trail, Merrow Trail and Lovelace Trail, enabling visitors to easily combine viewings and discover the wide range of work for sale.

At OKO: Art Gallery in Onslow Village, two working studios – those of Tania Oko and Becca Clegg – will be open for most of SAOS. The work of eight other talented local artists will also be on display at the impressive gallery space, with stewarding by two to three artists at a time.

Abstract landscape by Tania Oko, of Oko:Art

Tania Oko says: ” This is the third time we have participated in SAOS and we are thrilled to be opening our doors again for live art-viewing after two very successful open studios events last year. It will be exciting showcasing such a great mix of paintings, photography, printmaking, ceramics and glass art.”

Both Tania and Becca Clegg will be demonstrating their working methods, on vibrant abstract and impressionist landscapes respectively. They, and other featured artists at the gallery, will be happy to discuss their art, inspiration, and techniques.

Micheldever Bluebells a new work by Becca Clegg, who is exhibiting at Oko:Art

Becca, who has been taking part in Open Studios since 2011, says: “I am really looking forward to showing people my studio and to seeing them face to face again to discuss my work. The gallery looks so lovely with all the work displayed.”

Well-known local artist and designer David Dragon, whose studio is close to Oko:Art, will be exhibiting. David worked as a graphic designer in the music industry for much of his career and his work is still heavily influenced by music and the arts.

Also showing work at Oko:Art are landscape and city-scape artist Nicola Keelan; award winning photographer Diana Uzun; printmaker and photographer Rebecca King; printmaker and illustrator, Helen Locke; ceramicist Liane Matthews; Julie Barham who handcrafts tableware and decorative items for the home; and glass-maker Fran McCaskill.

OKO:Art is tucked away at the top of Onslow Village, just off the A3 by American Golf, or can be reached on foot from High View Road or Manor Way.

Nearby is the newly converted New House Art Space in Bedford Road in central Guildford. This vibrant space houses twenty artist studios, as well as the Davies Gilder Gallery on the ground floor.

Also featuring on the Guildford Trail are (among others) Peg Morris, artist and printmaker, Adam Aaronson Glass Studio, and Surrey Adult Learning in Harvey Road.

At Gateways Garden Studio, just off the Epsom Road, five artists will showcase their work within a stunning garden and studio setting. Those exhibiting include a travel photographer, sterling silver jeweller, a glass artist and sculptors working in glass, metal and limestone.

Lucy Land draws inspiration from the West Country beach where she grew up.

Not far away, framer and artist Lucy Land will show her embroidered landscapes, watercolour and oil paintings. Originally from a coastal village in the West Country, Lucy takes inspiration from the beach where she grew up, as well as daily walks in the Surrey Hills.

Four artists feature in the Merrow Trail, among them Sarah Cox, a Surrey Artist of the Year finalist in 2021, and Janina Klein, known for evocative paintings of local trees, landscapes and colourful abstracts, created using watercolours and inks, with brushes, pens, sticks and toothbrushes.

Merrow’s Janina Klein is known for her evocative paintings of local trees and landscapes.

The Lovelace Trail, covering the Horsleys, will showcase many more accomplished local artists, including Liz Hauck, Adam Aaronson and fifteen others, all exhibiting at Place Farm Barn at West Horsley Place. Nearby, artist Anne Winstanley Wood will show her expressive, semi-abstract landscapes inspired by the undulating, wooded countryside of the Surrey Hills.

For information on all these artists and many more, and to plan your visits, see https://surreyopenstudios.org.uk

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