For four days, lovers of the creative arts can get up close and personal with a broad range of artisans and their work - and perhaps even buy something. IAN PROCTOR reveals more about this year's
HOME is where the 'art' is for a group of 26 professional craftsmen and women this weekend. The artists, all of whom live in Harrow and surrounding areas, are allowing members of the public into their homes and workshops for a special exhibition weekend, called Harrow Open Studios.
Visitors will be able to visit up to 20 venues at selected times between tomorrow (Friday) and Monday to view works, talk to artists and even buy pieces or order a commission.
The aim is to make people aware of the swathes of talented painters, ceramicists, sculptors and purveyors of other artistic disciplines who are just off the radar.
The Open Studios project is an ideal way to counteract the lack of decent gallery space available to Harrow's burgeoning art scene.
Displaying the works in a much more homely, personalised setting may also help to overcome some of the preconceptions that art is out reach of most artisans, because galleries are 'elitist' or their work too abstract.
Thankfully, the artists will be on hand to explain and demystify their creations in a way that cannot often be done in galleries. And for them, this is a rare opportunity to have immediate feedback from both knowledgeable art aficionados and inquisitive newcomers.
Much of the work on show will be available to buy.
One of the aims of Harrow Open Studios is to boost the commercialism
of an art community that has seen at least two galleries close in the past year and has to compete with much more visible - but no less vibrant - creative scenes elsewhere in the capital.
Publicity officer and painter Tim Oelman said: "It's going to be a great success. It's an opportunity for people to get to know the artists and chat with them and for us to get to know what they think.
"Visitors will be able to go around and drop into a variety of artists' studios. People quite like the 'treasure hunt but without the clues' and there's no obligation to like or even visit some of the art.
"Overall, it's a way for artists, particularly with the absence of gallery space, to get their work exhibited and known to the public."