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1 July 2014


So all the artists that are participating in this year's festival have received the proofs of their entry for the guide and Zoe Li is now finalising the information before it goes to print - which is no small task with over three hundred artists opening their studio doors this coming Autumn. I have had a peek at the venues located in West Somerset and it is encouraging to see some new names amongst the familiar and established favourites. Also in the area, Contains Art, is curating an exhibition to coincide with this year's Open Studios entitled Making An Exhibition of Ourselves: A Self Portrait of West Somerset Artists. This promises to be an intriguing exhibition and will no doubt push the working boundaries of those taking part into unfamiliar territory; especially those that are more au fait with painting landscapes. Painting oneself can be an uncomfortable, questionable and revealing process as it is surely the most public form of self expression. With this in mind I have amazed they have persuaded so many to take part including myself! 


Keen to visit an exhibition sooner rather than later? From the 11th July you will be able to view the results of the SAW Z Twist residency, the latest development from SAW's two year Make, Create, Cultivate programme. During the past three months artists Debbie Smyth, Penny Wheeler and Lucy Lean have been developing a body of work with support from local textile industries including Fox Brothers Ltd and John Boyd Textiles. Some of you may have been following their progress over at the Z Twist Blog. The exhibition is in Taunton at the Somerset College of Arts and Technology's Genesis Centre. Open Wednesday to Saturday between 11am and 5pm, admission is free.


SAW is also hosting an exciting symposium on the Saturday and Sunday at the college. There will be talks and workshops from the various artists that have been involved with not only Z Twist, but Abundance and Make the Most. Tickets for the weekend are £30, or £20 day, to include lunch and refreshments. Call the SAW office to book your place. There is to be makers breakfast on the Sunday so I'm definitely there - just for the food of course! It promises to be an inspiring and thought provoking weekend for creative arts and culture in Somerset. See you there!

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