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.
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.
|Leo Blamire - one of 93 artists taking part in Spring Fling 2013|
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.