Derbyshire Open Arts 2014

Issue no. 53 – May 2014

Words by Paul Chapman


This spring bank holiday sees the ninth Derbyshire Open Arts weekend, with over 200 artists exhibiting either in their own studio, or clustered in some wonderful public spaces, in idyllic rural settings or in our historical towns.

In over 100 venues scattered throughout the county from Glossop to Long Eaton, Bolsover to Buxton, from 24th to 26th May, you will have the opportunity to interact with the artists, find out more about their work, have the opportunity to buy an original work of art, become inspired to learn a new craft or just to browse.

To help you plan your weekend and find out more about the event and the artists taking part, please visit Derbyshire Open Arts website on You can download the brochure, as well as take a look at the work of the various artist members for 2014.

In the S40 area this year, we have 22 artists, most clustering in two venues in Holymoorside including local talent: Denise Phelps and Ashoka Sen. Two other artists exhibiting are members of the DOArts committee: Olinda Everett, a ceramics artist, is event secretary and has exhibited in Holymoorside for several years. “The most important consideration in organising Holymoorside venues is to maintain a good atmosphere for artists and provide visitors with a welcome they will remember; our volunteers offer refreshments and a smile and the participating exhibitors enjoy the good humour and supportive atmosphere. Being able to meet the public and chat about my work is encouraging and inspirational.”

Jennie Merriman has been working on the brochure since January and is now looking forward to exhibiting her new work in mixed media on acrylic sheet. “It is always a positive experience exhibiting at Holymoorside” says Jennie, “The local community are engaged with the local arts scene and are most interested in and supportive of the Derbyshire Open Arts event that happens every year in their village. The village hall is an open, light and airy space and can draw more than a thousand visitors over a bank holiday weekend. An excellent chance to network with other artists and local people”.

Derbyshire Open Arts is a not-for-profit, volunteer led organisation, solely dependent on artists’ entry fees and advertising fees. The event is free to the visiting public and DOArts publish a free fully illustrated brochure.

Appealing for new volunteers, Chair Anna Krystyna says: “Present Committee members offer help and support when requested and new opinions are heard and considered with respect. There is real comradeship among us.”

The committee of Derbyshire Open Arts aim to support members throughout the year through the website and social media, making their presence accessible for consultation by the community.

Organising and delivering the May Bank Holiday event remains their main focus. They strive to improve year on year the reach of the event, against the ever present need for more volunteers, to do more detailed work, bring new skills and a fresh outlook. At present, the available roles involve brochure distribution, marketing and publicity. DOArts volunteers need no previous committee experience, just enthusiasm and flexibility.

If you’d like to find out more – visit their website