INFORMATION FOR ARTISTS
Open Studios Sunshine Coast 2021 is the most exciting opportunity for artists living and working on the Sunshine Coast. The event is going to be held over two weekends in 2021 March and is bridged by 5 days of workshops. It will attract visitors to the region and offers artists the opportunity to showcase their work and attract sales.
Open Studios Sunshine Coast 2021 features artists opening their studios to the public with the option of also running a workshop. We aim to provide greater opportunity for the public to access the visual arts, to showcase our local artists, and to provide a series of creative workshops curated by artists that encourage community participation and celebrates diversity.
The first weekend, the 20th & 21st will see the Hinterland open its artists’ studio doors, with the coastal areas the following weekend 27th & 28th March. This is bridged by 5 days of artists’ workshops available to the public and to artists of all levels.
Open Studios Sunshine Coast 2020 Registration $200 AUD plus $50 membership to Arts Connect Inc, if you are not already a member.
Your registration fee includes:
- Artist profile in the Open Studios printed guide & Open Studios Website
- Advertising in the Open Studios Guide at discounted rates
- Flyers printed at discounted rates
- Invitations to Open Studios key events
- Onsite signage/wayfinding as an Open Studios participant
- Opportunities for artist interviews through Open Studios marketing campaign
- Event delivery support
The success of ACI Open Studios is directly reliant on all subscribers participating and adhering to the guidelines set out by ACI. Without this structure, the program could easily become fragmented and disconnected. Further, without the cooperation of participants taking care with safety, the insurance costs would rise.
ACI requests that all participants of the ACI Open Studios Program, read the following guidelines and sign below acknowledging that they understand the requirements of participants.
THE ARTIST AND THE STUDIO
A bad experience at one Open Studio could mean that it may be the last stop for guests. To keep guests wanting to go to the next studio everyone has to work together.
Make Guests Feel Welcome & Important
ACI Open Studios Program relies on artists presenting themselves in a professional manner when guests approach their studios. When guests are visiting a studio they feel uncomfortable if they have to wait for the artist to finish a phone call or come from the other side of the property. Be available and approachable.
Top tip: Remember, your guests are probably just as nervous as you are and may be too shy to ask questions. Try working on a piece and explain what you are doing, or chat about something they are looking at. You may have several different groups come at the same time, don’t panic, just say hello to everyone, tell them all to ask about anything they see that interests them if you have made the effort to greet all your visitors that will be enough to make them (and you) feel comfortable and included. If you aren’t sure what to say, it's ok to just say you are going to work on a piece and they are free to ask questions as you go, it will break the ice in a very simple way.
Ensure Your Signage Is Clear & Easy To Follow
The guests’ experience can be diminished if they find it difficult to follow signs, park their car and access the studio. You will be supplied with Open Studios branded signage to direct visitors. Make sure parking instructions on the website are correct and clear, most visitors will rely on this information to inform their choice of artist studio as well as location. For example- parking available onsite/ street parking only/ park and walk 200m/ buses welcome.
Top tip: make sure signs are clearly visible from the road and in a safe position that won’t obstruct pedestrians or become dislodged easily. Do a visual check of your signs early on the day you are opening your studio to make sure they are all up and facing the right way!
Open The Hours You Have Specified
You must be open for the dates and times specified in the guide. Remember this is a professional opportunity, you need to act in a professional manner. To set the day aside and visit Open Studios only to find that the first one is not open after being advertised is extremely disappointing to a guest.
Top Tip: Have morning tea and lunch pre-packed and on hand. Maybe bring the jug over to make a cuppa if you can’t get back to your studio in time for guests. It's ok to have a break while visitors are there as long as you are willing to chat, but it’s not ok to not be in your studio while it is open.
Have Something To Work On That Is Interesting
Guests love to see artists working and, as well as encouraging them to purchase, it also builds interest in the next studio and is a fantastic way to break the ice for both visitors and artists.
Top Tip: if you’re shy, put bullet point notes around your studio to help you remember interesting points about your practice or even a short artist statements about several works, it doesn’t have to be polished, just points of interest to draw in the audience. Display any art books you may have, put as much of your work up on the wall as you can and any other objects or quotes that inspire you- it will inspire your visitors too!
Promote & Work With Other Studios That Are Open
Take some time out to find out other studios that are open on your trail and encourage guests to visit them. Contact other studios in your area and share the brochure drop at our local village/town. Share each other’s studio DL’s or business cards.
Top Tip: ACI is all about connecting artists, so come to workshops or meetings, share and comment on social media, volunteer to do a job, and you will make those valuable connections, it will be worth it, trust us.
Keep A Safe & Clean Environment
Guests love to see the messy studios as well as the perfectly clean, however a messy studio doesn’t have to mean a dirty and unsafe studio. While it is a condition of this agreement that your studio maintains healthy and safety standards, ensuring you have clear pathways, caps on solvents, no frightening dogs loose, clear of dirt and dust can also ensure that guests will want to continue to visit.
Top Tip: Eclectic is good, displaying objects, books and artworks that inspire you as well as your own work helps to create an engaging environment and a valuable glimpse into your practice, the smell of oil paint is a wonderful thing, but make sure your windows are open and solvents have child proof lids on. Extra points for keeping them out of reach of children- many families visit, so think of what is at a child’s eye height and make sure that it's safe and unbreakable (or that you don’t mind it getting broken!)
Display Artwork For Sale With Prices & Information
Guests love to read about artwork as they look at it and they often hate to ask for prices. Clearly displaying, labelling and pricing your work will assist with sales.
Top tip: If your prices are similar, write yourself a price list and have a plan of action if someone wants a deal on multiple purchases- if the next person doesn’t get the same deal they will be very disappointed. Also consider how much the work is worth in a gallery setting, again, if someone purchases a work from a gallery or competition for X amount, and it is significantly cheaper in the artist’s studio they will be disappointed. NB- If you are represented by a gallery we require you to check your agreement with them or discuss how to manage studio sales.
Definition Of A Studio
A studio does not need to be permanent, and may be something other than your working space, however you are required to ensure an experience consistent with Open Studios. If the studio is part of your dwelling, please make every effort to ensure visitors have a professional experience. Each studio will be checked by a representative of the Open Studios Sub Committee.
Top Tip: If in doubt, request a visit from us, and we will endeavour to assist you in any way with advice or perhaps assist in working in a shared space instead.
Working With Galleries
It is a requirement of participation that you declare your association with a commercial gallery. If you are represented by a gallery you must contact your gallery regarding arrangements for sales, commission, etc.
Top Tip: Honesty is the best policy. Galleries work hard to represent you and sell your work, and are integral to the arts across the planet. Have the discussion with your gallery, and work to a fair and equitable arrangement.
Since the early days of ACI Open Studios, the program has run on a list of conditions to ensure the very best outcome for all artists and visitors. The Open Studios Coordinator and Sub Committee have the right to reject any application if the artist does not meet the requirements. Subscription to the Open Studios Program is conditional upon compliance of all the following:
- ACI Open Studios Program is only available to full members of ACI. (Full membership is currently $50 per year). All participants must ensure that their membership is up to date at the time of opening their studio.
- Subscription to ACI Open Studios is $200 for one weekend, including the option to hold endorsed workshops, an artists profile in the guidebook and website, and signage. Subscription covers the artist. If a studio is shared by two 2 or more artists, each artist pays the full registration fee.
- All artwork displayed, for sale or otherwise, in the registered studio must be the artists own work. Reference material is allowed but must not be misrepresented as the artists own work.
- Artists and Studios are encouraged to market their studio however they must use the provided promotional material. Artists and Studios cannot create their own marketing using the ACI logo or refer to the program without written permission from ACI. Marketing tools will be supplied for campaigns with permissions to use them.
- Images and statistics supplied to, or obtained by, ACI remain the property ofACI for use at their discretion.
- Artists must ensure that their studio remains compliant with Workplace Health and Safety guidelines while opening under the ACI Open Studios Program. The Open Studios Sub Committee can help.
- Artists and Studios must return all signs in good order at the end of the program. ACI reserves the right to charge artists for the cost of the signs if it is deemed by the Committee that the Artist did not take due care of ACI property.
ACI reserves the right to investigate any complaint received from the public or another artist relating to a studio not complying with one or more of the guidelines in this document or that the studio is not in the ‘spirit’ of the program.
ACI will endeavour to mediate issues in the quickest and easiest way with any parties involved. ACI will take all steps, within reason, to ensure success of mediation.
Should mediation be unsuccessful, ACI reserve the right to terminate an artists or studios subscription as ‘non-compliant’.
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