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Go on an arts trail with Southgate and Palmers Green Open Studios, writes Rosy Moorhead
The open studios phenomenon is coming to Southgate and Palmers Green for the first time this summer, but with a twist - rather than just visiting an artist here and a designer there, you will follow an art trail that takes in artists’ home studios, local businesses and restaurants and cafes.
"The public can come in and meet the designers as with all open studios," explains Dan Maier, the project’s founder and organiser, "but I thought that, as this is such a lovely area for parks and lakes and so on, it would be nice to make it a trail as well. We’ve never had anything like this in the area."
Residents will be able to view artists, designers and crafts people at work on paintings, ceramics, jewellery, woodwork, fashion, home accessories and photography both in their own studios and in various shops and businesses around the trail, and there will also be the chance for people to get creative themselves, with soap- and teapot-making workshops taking place in Baskervilles Tea Shop and a demonstration of flame-working in the Orchard, Broomfield Park.
The trail has a number of official watering holes, where you can stop off along the way for a much-needed cup of tea or a spot of lunch, all of which will be providing an ‘arty’ menu over the weekend as well as hosting activities and artists.
From the outset, Dan says, her project has been about more than just art. "I worked with businesses both to benefit them and improve the look of the High Street," says Dan, who has lived and worked in Southgate for more than 20 years.
"Local businesses and shops often don’t have the budget for window displays, so we’re combining artists who want to show their work and businesses with window space. I’ve been really keen to help local businesses who are new. It’s been happening so much in Southgate that they go out of business within a couple of months. And I wanted to make the High Street more vibrant from the shoppers’ and local residents’ point of view. I want us to compete with Muswell Hill and Crouch End in that respect."
The Open Studios and Art Trail takes place at various venues in Southgate and Palmers Green on Saturday and Sunday, July 7 and 8 from 11am to 6pm, unless otherwise stated. Entry to all the venues is free. Details: call Dan Maier’s studio on 020 8886 9020, www.openstudios.uk.com