Cambridge Open Studios
Who we are
Cambridge Open Studios is a thriving community supporting over 500 artists, craftspeople and designer makers throughout Cambridgeshire. Our aim is to forge lasting relationships between local people and local makers.
What we do
COS membership consists of over 500 painters, jewellers, ceramicists, woodworkers, sculptors, textile artists, photographers, and much more, who promote the making of original works of art and craft through supporting networking, connections, and friendships amongst each other.
July Open Studios
For four weekends in July, painters, jewellers, ceramicists, woodworkers, sculptors, textile artists, photographers, and much more will be offering you the opportunity to browse and buy directly from the artist. Many of the artists show in their working studios so you can see how your art is made, but all artists are happy to talk about their art and how it was created.
July Cambridge Open Studios is free to enter, as is the e-Guide, App and local trail leaflets that you can find in outlets and studios around Cambridgeshire.
The rest of the year
In addition to the main July Open Studios month, members can lead independent events throughout the year and utilise the Cambridge Open Studios name in their own publicity and promotion. There is also an interest in revival of a Winter Open Studios event for 2021 and beyond. Cambridge Open Studios organisation encourages these events.
More will be announced as necessary.
Although our July festival is our main event, COS is an organisation that promotes our community artists in a safe and supportive environment – and you are welcome to join us!
How to and schedule
New members are welcomed in November and December each year.
To participate in the July Open Studio event, you must first be a COS member. July Open Studio registration will be open in January.
New members fee is £60, after which annual renewal is £35. The new members fee includes a set up cost of that covers:
- creating your own dedicated artist page on the COS website,
- a COS flag, and
- an opportunity to participate in an induction and mentoring programme.
The option to participate in the July Open Studios festival incurs an additional fee. The fee is set each year and will be £140 for 2022.
History of COS
Cambridge Open Studios is one of the oldest open studio events in the country. Way back in the 1970s, a small group of artists invited the public to visit their studios and see how their art was produced. This formed part of COS’ still-ongoing mission to demystify the arts and make them accessible to all. Over the last 50 years, more than 1800 different artists have participated in the July Open Studios festival.
Today, COS has over the 500 artists as members, with approximately two-thirds choosing to open their doors each July. Historically, many artists form local art trails in July, and now increasingly for Winter and Easter – a practice that COS hopes to increasingly support.
Meet the Management Team
Our volunteer team is composed of a vibrant group of individuals. Term length is up to five years, and we are always looking for new members. Please get in touch with us if you are interested in helping shape the future of Cambridge Open Studios!
Painter, recently started to work with mixed media and fabrics. See artist profile here. Joined the COS Management Team in 2013 to work with budgets and predict expenditure. Leigh is at the end of her term and COS is looking for a new Treasurer. If you’re interested, please get in touch.
Textile artist and modern quilter. Recently, Marion has developed a second passion making jewellery. See artist profile here. Joined the COS Management Team in 2012 to work on membership issues and communication. Marion is nearing the end of her term and is looking for a shadow. If you’re interested, please get in touch.
I enjoy working in a number of mediums including watercolour pencil, pen and ink graphite and acrylics. Specialising in botanical art, I use a variety of forms and colours of plants as a constant source of inspiration. See artist profile here. She joined the COS Management Team in 2016.
A jeweller creating pieces that narrate stories of our fauna, flora, and folklore. See artist profile here. Joined the COS Management Team in 2016.
I design and make all kinds of furniture, mainly from hardwoods. I like to use the grain and colour of the wood as a part of the design. See artist profile here. Joined the COS Management Team in 2016 to work on publicity and promotion.
A printmaker interested in histories of natural history and archaeology. Currently collaborating on a ceramics project with an Athens-based scientist. See artist profile here. Joined the COS Management Team in 2021.
Sarah Lucy Lee
Distribution & Social Activities
An oil painter captivated by beauty. Creating still life with energy and harmony. See artist profile here. Joined the COS Management Team in 2019 to work with Gabriella del Valle on distribution of flyers and guides. Taken up Social Activities role as of 2021.
Website and Graphic Design
A photographer focusing on historic architecture and botanical details. See artist profile here. Joined COS in 2017. Joined the COS Management Team in 2021 to help with creating a new website and associated graphic design.
Surreal pictures of Unusual Occurrences at Hall End as well as the usual dazzling pictures taken through a microscope. See artist profile here. Joined the COS Management Team in 2020.
Gabriella del Valle
Distribution & Finance
I make sterling silver jewellery inspired by shape and colour. My work is typified by that handcrafted look and is unique and contemporary in design. See artist profile here. Joined the COS Management Team in 2019 to work with Sarah Lucy Lee on distribution of flyers and guides.
A milliner creating occasion and event hats, performance headwear and host of ‘fascinateas’ to make a fascinator, drink tea and eat cake. See artist profile here. New Company Secretary (as of 2021), being persuaded to use her previous corporate governance skills in COS.
Guide – shadow
Printmaker specialising in drypoint and collography. Freelance illustrator for the stationery market. See artist profile here. Joined COS in 1996. Joined the COS Management Team in Oct 2021 to help with shadowing of the guide production.
An abstract artist specialising in expressive paintings incorporating emulsion paints. See artist profile here. Joined COS in 2016. Joined the COS Management Team in Oct 2021 to support with project management.