SCULPTORS, painters and jewellery makers will be allowing the public into their private studios for a special exhibition this summer.

Twenty-six professional artists and crafters from a range of disciplines will display their wares between Friday, June 13 and Monday, June 16 for the Harrow Open Studios project.

Residents will be able to drop in free to 20 venues across the borough at selected times and view the works of art, chat to artists and buy or commission pieces.

Tim Oelman, the exhibition's publicity officer, said: "This is a brand new initiative that comes from artists in Harrow.

"It's quite a spread of people -those who have been around and those who people haven't come across before.

"It shows that there is a lot of art going on in Harrow and there are some talented people, and that they need to be encouraged."

Mr Oelman said the Harrow Open Studios brochure had been printed on Monday and would be distributed to libraries and Harrow Arts Centre, in Uxbridge Road, Hatch End, to generate interest.

The launch of Harrow Open Studios comes amid general discontent from artists that there are too few public exhibition spaces in Harrow.

Several months ago a petition was submitted to Harrow Council urging councillors to create a new gallery and art exhibition centre. Artists were unhappy that a proposal for such a building was removed from the council's plans for Gayton Library and car park in Gayton Road, Harrow.

Norma Stephenson, chair-woman of Harrow Art Society, said: "It's absolutely shocking that a place like Harrow doesn't have any decent exhibition space in the middle of town.

"Harrow Open Spaces is a very good idea and I have seen it working extremely well in other places like Arundel in East Sussex. It would be wonderful if it was a real success."

* Go online and visit  for more details, including the full programme.