PRESS RELEASE: All About Spring Fling 2013

5th February 2013


Welcome to Spring Fling 2013 – renowned as one of the UK’s best contemporary art and crafts open studios events. From 25-27 May visitors from all across Britain and the world will enjoy the work of 93 professional visual artists, designers and makers, each specially selected for the high quality of their work.

The event

Spring Fling is a fun and vibrant annual visual arts and craft open studios event which takes place across Dumfries and Galloway.

Where does it take place?

All across the region, from Sanquhar and Eskdalemuir in the north to Dundrennan in the south, and Stranraer in the west to Langholm in the east.  There are large concentrations in the area from around Thornhill, down through Dumfries and on to Kirkcudbright. See the website at or order a brochure, which comes complete with map.

 ● 11th anniversary

Spring Fling has become so popular and successful that this will be its 11th year.

 ● Year of Natural Scotland

Many of those who take part are deeply influenced by the region’s wonderful woodlands, hills, coastlines and wildlife. Spring Fling itself also encourages visitors to take time to explore the superb countryside of this beautiful and tranquil region. For all these reasons we are enthusiastically supporting the 2013 Year of Natural Scotland.

 ● When is it on?

The main event takes place over three days from 25 to 27 May – an especially beautiful time to enjoy south west Scotland. During this time visitors will be able to visit many of the artists, designers and makers in their own studios.

 ● Previews and tasters

Our taster exhibitions offer a great chance to see examples of work by everyone taking part.

  • 29-31 March: Gracefield Arts Centre, 28 Edinburgh Road, Dumfries DG1 1JQ. Call 01387 262084 - Launch Event Thursday 28 March 6.30 – 8pm Opened by Malcolm Roughead, Chief Execitive, Visit Scotland
  • 20 April to 11 May: Stranraer Museum, The Old Town Hall, George Street, Stranraer, DG9 7JP. Call 01776 705088. Private View Friday 19 April 7pm
  • 18 May to 15 June: Annan Museum, Bank Street, Town Centre, Annan, DG12 6AA. Call 01461 201384. Private View Friday 17 May 7pm

The range of visual art and craft

The variety is impressive here’s a quick breakdown of the numbers involved in different disciplines: painting and drawing 49, ceramics 13, printmaking 13, textiles 11, sculptures 10, photography 6, jewellery 3. Then there will be willow weaving, glassmaking, an installation art, architectural metalwork, illustration, furniture and hats.  

Numbers taking part

This year is the biggest Spring Fling ever with 95 artists, makers, designers and studios – up from 76 in 2012.

All that’s new for 2013

This year’s Spring Fling is brimming with new ideas that mean there is more than ever to do and enjoy.

Spring Fling Fringe

After the art comes the food, the drink, the music and more. This year Spring Fling has its very own fringe festival. There is a line-up of 21 events and activities all across the region, many in the evenings.  These include classical and traditional music, opera, dance and theatre along with chocolate tasting and a masterclass on making artisan pizza.


Many artists with strong D&G links now work elsewhere in the UK – we have invited eight of them back for this year’s event.


We are reaching out beyond our own region through the new Neighbours scheme. For 2013 we have invited three artists from neighbouring regions to become part of Spring Fling. They are:

  • South Ayrshire: Painter Michael Clark  
  • East Ayrshire: Willow weaver Geoff Forrest  
  • Borders: Landscape painter and textile artist Deborah Campbell  

Public art

Something a little bit different here - three sound recordings by Robbie Coleman in locations across the region. Called Fragment, they are available on your radio at 87.7fm – turn on, tune in and check out the art.


POLLEN is an intriguing dance performance by Alex Rigg/Oceanallover. It will be held in three gardens across the region over the three days of SF. This is funded by Creative Scotland as part of The Year of Natural Scotland. POLLEN examines growth and the migration of ideas, traveling from darkness into light and back.

Making the most of your visit


 It’s now easier than ever for visitors to plan their time in Dumfries and Galloway and to explore the studios in all sorts of different ways

Getting around

Cut your carbon footprint, meet new people and see the Spring Fling studios from a different perspective. There are three great alternatives to getting around by car:

  • Six bus tours courtesy of the Glenkens Transport Initiative (GTI)
  • Bike tours  
  • Walking tours   

Finding the route

We are producing a new fold-out map which shows the studios and the fringe locations. There are also seven suggested coloured routes to follow – each provides a great day-long tour of studios and super countryside.

Smartphone app

An updated smartphone app can be downloaded for free so visitors can plot their own routes – choosing where they want to visit by area, name of artist or the type of work they produce.


Big economic impact and wide social reach

Spring Fling makes a real contribution to the D&G economy. Back in 2003 visitors spent £57,500 but by 2012 this had grown to £1m. In total Spring Fling has brought nearly £5.9 million to the region. This goes on everything from arts and crafts to meals and accommodation.

Listed below are some key facts about last year:

  • Visitors made 27,951 visits to the 75 participating studios, on average, each studio received 375 visits. This contrasts with 2003 when 2003 when an estimated 1,347 people made around 4,040 studio visits.
  • 28% of the visitors visited Spring Fling for the first time in 2012.
  • Visitors spent £174,021 (13.43% increase) in Spring Fling 2012 studios (excluding commissions), average sales per studio are £2,320.
  • Over half of our visitors came from outwith Dumfries and Galloway, and
  • Almost one out of three visitors came from outside of Scotland.
  • Spring Fling was the main reason to visit D&G for 66% of Non D&G visitor,
  • 59% of  the visitors from outside Scotland came to the region for Spring Fling.
  • 99% of our visitors think we are ‘Excellent’ or ‘Good’, worthy of recommending to friends and visiting again.

The event has benefited greatly from the financial support of a variety of organisations and public bodies. Back in 2003 every £1 of investment resulted in £3.39 of spending, by last year this had grown to £20.76

Spring Fling 2012 welcomed visitors from 19 different countries all over the world including: Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Republic of Ireland, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Uganda, USA.

Spring Fling is very much linked to the community, and brings benefits to the region. One small example is that throughout the brochure there are recommendations from the artists for great places to eat, and places to see.


Some FAQs

Can you meet the artists and craft makers? One of the big attractions is that you can meet the artists and makers and find out about their techniques, materials, inspirations and commissions.

  What prices do the artists charge? There is artwork to suit almost every pocket. The brochure details the range for each artist or craft maker and prices go from £1 to £10,000.

  What are the studios like? They are very much part of the attraction. There are former farm buildings, town houses, commercial galleries and even the stables of Lochinch Castle.

  Can any artist or craft maker take part? Dumfries and Galloway has so much talent that we have to have a selection process to decide who takes part each year. This means that visitors are always guaranteed something fresh to enjoy, and that it’s always of a high standard.

  Is there a web shop? Yes, it was introduced last year and is being specially updated for 2013. The Spring Fling Online Shop is open all year round and sells products, such as posters, linked to the event. It also sells original artworks by some of the Spring Fling artists and craft makers. Visitors can also use the shop to buy tickets for the Spring Fling additional events and to sign up to become a Friend. See  

  Does Spring Fling help nurture new talent? The Spring Fling Young Artists Bursary Programme provides two recent art school graduates, with links to the area, with £1,000 to create new work. The Young Artists are also be given professional mentoring by a Dumfries and Galloway artist in the run up to Spring Fling

  Can I get involved? We have a popular Spring Fling Friends Scheme that you can join. This offers all sorts of benefits – including substantial discounts and prize draws from some of the participating artists during the event, a selection of reduced Spring Fling Fringe ticket prices, and discounts with local businesses.


Additional information

Visitor information

Studio opening hours: The studios are free to visit and are open daily 10.30am to 5pm during the event. Spring Fling Fringe are charged separately – see the website at for details. There is also a short film on the website from our 10th Birthday Event by Wigtown-based Picto Productions.

Spring Fling backing

Spring Fling is a Community Interest Company. The core event is funded by Dumfries & Galloway Council. The Springboard Project is funded by The Dumfries and Galloway LEADER Programme and The Holywood Trust. Additional projects are funded by Creative Scotland and The Galloway Association of Glasgow. The Trigony House Hotel are the 2013 Prize Draw Sponsor.

Media information  

Spring Fling is very happy to help journalists. Contact us and we can set up interviews, provide pictures and photo opportunities. In some circumstances we can offer ready-written copy.

Contact Matthew Shelley on 07786 704299 or at

Free-to-use images and press releases are available from the Spring Fling website.