Press Release: A Real Buzz – Spring Fling Artists and Makers Enjoy Superb Weekend30th May 2016
Thanks and fond farewells as changes announced in top team.
The curtain has come down on the Spring Fling open studios after a successful 14th year for the Scottish art and craft event.Thousands of visitors toured studios across Dumfries and Galloway over the Bank Holiday weekend, enjoying the chance to see work by 94 specially selected painters, potters, photographers, printmakers, woodworkers, jewellers and others.
Clare Hanna, Director (maternity cover) for Upland, which runs Spring Fling, said: “It’s been one of the most colourful and fun Spring Flings to date. Our team was touring the studios and chatting to visitors and participants all weekend and the atmosphere was lovely. This really is such a special event for the region, and for Scotland.”
Among the popular destinations were the Wasps studios at Kirkcudbright where there were eight exhibitors. These included the willow weaver Lizzie Farey, textile designer Morag Macpherson and husband and wife team Claire and Ian Cameron-Smith. Claire is a printmaker and her husband creates wonderful woodwork, including dining room chairs and tables, to commission.Lizzie said: “The weekend has been absolutely superb. We have had so many people coming to the studios, it’s been wonderful.”
Upland has also announced changes in the top team as Director Leah Black takes up a new role as Creative Industries Officer (Crafts) with Creative Scotland and Clare completes her time as maternity cover.The Board thanked them both for their dedication to Spring Fling and for getting Upland established. Upland launched last October and has Spring Fling as its flagship event.Leah has been with Spring Fling for the past four years and has led its development into a substantial economic force, bringing close to £1.5m to the local economy last year and attracting well over 13,000 visitors. Joyce Woodcock, who is taking up the reins as Interim Director of Upland, said Spring Fling is going from strength to strength: “There was a tremendous buzz about this year’s event and we are already looking forward to the next one – which will be a real landmark as it’s the 15th.“
Leah has been a driving force in the growth of Spring Fling, and behind the creation of Upland, the new and ambitious organisation which is championing Dumfries and Galloway’s visual art and craft.“And during Leah’s maternity leave Clare Hanna has done a remarkable job at shaping Upland and leading the new staff team.“We very much hope that Clare will stay in touch and involved in further projects. All of us very much appreciate the hard work and dedication these two young and talented women have shown to Spring Fling and to Upland.”The founding of Upland has been a major achievement, meaning that Dumfries and Galloway now has a year-round body nurturing its art and craft, and creating opportunities for artists and makers.Under Leah’s direction Spring Fling has grown to be recognised as the premier event of its kind in Scotland. She also pioneered a series of public art projects, including Spring Fling Rural Mural, which has seen the creation of big, bold and colourful artworks in the heart of the countryside.Leah said: “It’s been such a pleasure to have played a part in Spring Fling’s story and to see it develop and the visitor numbers grow. “And it has been so good to see Upland get up and running – it has so much potential for the future as a way of empowering artists and makers and showcasing everything that’s happening in the region.”