PRESS RELEASE: This year’s Spring Fling was the best yet – applications now open for 201422nd August 2013
Artists and visitors thanked for support as Scotland’s leading open studios event earns £1 million for Dumfries and Galloway
Artists and makers are being invited to apply to be part next year’s Spring Fling, while new figures show that 2013 was a record breaker.
As Scotland’s premier open studio visual art and craft event, Spring Fling provides a showcase for the region’s creativity and attracts many extra visitors to spend time in Dumfries and Galloway.
New research shows that there were a record 35,844 studio visits this year – with people having the chance to see work by 93 artists and makers, which is the highest number in the event’s 11-year history.
Organisers are now inviting applications for 2014, which they hope will be better still.
Leah Black, Spring Fling Manager, said: “Each year Spring Fling has got bigger and better, with more to do and see. It creates superb opportunities for the region’s artists and makers, and for many other businesses as well.
“This year it earned around £990,000 for the local economy, with nearly £200,000 spent in studios. This would be good news at any time, but is all the more helpful during the current economic difficulties.
“We have lots of fresh ideas to make next year’s event even more colourful and fun and look forward to welcoming new artists and makers to take part.
“None of this would be possible without the support of all the artists, visitors, volunteers and everyone else who does so much to make Spring Fling a success.”
Research shows that 54% of visitors came from outwith Dumfries and Galloway and of these 72% said that Spring Fling was the main reason for the trip. These visitors spent an average of 2.3 nights in the area, bringing valuable revenue for the hospitality industry.
The 2013 event saw the introduction of the Spring Fling Fringe, offering a range of things to do and see in the evenings.
Next year parts of the Gracefield Arts Centre in Dumfries will be made to look like a house interior, so visitors can see just how good the art and craft on show would look in their own homes.
Artists in need of financial support can also apply for the new Step-Up scheme which will allow them to take part in Spring Fling for a reduced fee. And the number of young artists’ bursaries is being increased from two to three.
A crowdfunding appeal is currently underway – with a deadline of 28 August – which hopes to raise £3,000 to stage special Spring Fling taster exhibitions in Glasgow, Newcastle and London.
If successful this will bring Dumfries and Galloway’s creativity to the attention of a whole new audience and could attract even more visitors to the region for the main event which runs from 24 to 26 May.
Notes for editors
● A breakdown of Spring Fling facts accompanies this release – if you do not receive it just email and we will send you a copy. Pictures and interviews are also available.
● To ensure a high standard of work all Spring Fling artists and makers are specially selected. Application forms are available at http://www.spring-fling.co.uk/blog/applicationsite2014/
● Applications are welcome from Dumfries and Galloway-based artists and makers. There is also the Springback scheme for those with a strong connection to the area. And there is the Neighbours scheme which is open to artists in South and East Ayrshire, Cumbria, South Lanarkshire and the Borders. Applications close on 4 October.
● Young Artists Bursary application forms are available at http://www.spring-fling.co.uk/blog/young-artist-bursary/
● The exhibition fundraising scheme offers a great selection of rewards for those who pledge money. To see what’s on offer and make a donation go to the Kickstarter site at www.kickstarter.com/projects/308013317/spring-fling-going-national
● Spring Fling is a Community Interest Company. The core event is funded by Dumfries & Galloway Council. Youth development is funded by The Holywood Trust and the Archie Sutter Watt Trust. Step Up Bursaries are funded by Barfil Charitable Trust. Additional projects are funded by Creative Scotland and The Galloway Association of Glasgow. The Springboard Project which finished in August 2013 was funded by Dumfries and Galloway LEADER and The Holywood Trust.
● For media information contact Matthew Shelley on 07786 704299 or at MJHShelley@hotmail.co.uk