'Artists from across Dumfries and Galloway joined the chief executive of VisitScotland last night to launch the biggest ever Spring Fling.
Malcolm Roughead OBE opened a pop up taster exhibition at the Gracefield Arts Centre, in Dumfries, which is exhibiting work by all 93 artists, makers and designers who have been selected to take part in this year’s event.
Mr Roughead met some of those taking part in Scotland’s premier visual art and craft open studio event including painters Hazel Campbell and Colin Blanchard, textile designer Jo Gallant, architectural metalworker Adam Booth and sculptor Lucianne Lassalle.
He said: “I am delighted to have launched one of Scotland’s leading cultural festivals. Dumfries and Galloway’s Spring Fling plays such an import role in the region’s tourism calendar, attracting visitors from near and far.
|Mr Roughead with work by Urpu Sellar|
Thursday evening’s well-attended reception and viewing of the taster exhibition, acted as a preview for the open studios event which runs from 25 to 27 May.
Spring Fling is closely tied into the 2013 Year of Natural Scotland, which celebrates the natural and historic landscapes and art inspired by nature. Many of the artists and makers draw inspiration from the landscapes and wildlife of Dumfries and Galloway – with its magnificent hills and coastlines.
Leah Black, Spring Fling Manager, said: “Last night’s launch at Gracefield was superb, and we were glad that Mr Roughead could carry out the official opening as Spring Fling is so important for tourism in Dumfries and Galloway.
“As this is the Year of Natural Scotland we hope to welcome lots of visitors who want to enjoy our superb countryside and unspoiled environment as well as the amazing variety of visual art and craft.
“There is more than ever to do and see this year as we have a record 93 exhibitors who will be showing their work in a fantastic variety of places, from farmhouses and clock towers to purpose-built studios and even the stable block of Lochinch Castle.”
The launch also saw the unveiling of the new look website and the improved smart phone app, which allows visitors to choose their own route round the Spring Fling studios, and to comment live on studio experiences.
The taster exhibition is at Gracefield over the Easter weekend. It will move to Stranraer Museum during April and May and then go to Annan – giving easy access for visitors from the north of England.
The taster exhibition includes work by painters such as Hazel Campbell, Lisa Hooper, Andrew McKean, Angela Lawrence, Helen Ryman, Colin Blanchard and many more – whose work often features wildlife or Scottish landscapes. There is photography from Allan Wright, Leeming & Paterson and Phil McMenemy whose work often focuses on landscapes and the environment.'
So some details for the Annan and Stranraer events if you can't make Gracefield this weekend:
· Where:Stranraer Museum, The Old Town Hall, George Street, Stranraer, DG9 7JP
· Opening night reception Friday 19 April
· When: 20 April to 11 May
· Where:Annan Museum, Bank Street, Town Centre, Annan, DG12 6AA
· Opening night reception:Friday 17 May
· When: 18 May to 15 June