COS17: The 10th running of the hugely popular visual arts trail

COS17: The 10th running of the hugely popular visual arts trail

COS17: 10 – 18 June

Original art made here

See the work of over 200 artists on an open-door-to-door trail of 73 venues. Meet the artists, view their work, learn about their practice. You can now download our brand new event guide book and press kit materials.

COS17 is the 10th time the artists from Cheltenham Open Studios have opened their doors to the public in this celebration of the visual art being made in the area. Now a biennial event, it  has become an important part of the cultural landscape for artists and art lovers alike. The first event, in 2001, saw just 46 artists take part; in 2015, the last time the event was staged, over 14,000 people visited the studios, workrooms and exhibition spaces of over 200 artists working in Cheltenham and its surrounds. This year’s event runs 10 to 18 June, and from the guide, looks to be even richer and more diverse than ever.

Organised by artist-run association, Cheltenham Open Studios, this year’s art trail links together 73 different exhibition venues, where you can meet the artists, view their work, learn about their practice and even have a go yourself. In the Foreword to the event guide, artist and COS Patron, PJ Crook MBE, writes: “COS is always a highlight in my diary. This fabulous festival of creativity is a coming together of so many exciting artists, groups and organisations in the region and is second to none. Here is an opportunity to see how the creative process works and enjoy the culmination of all that energy, breathing life into inanimate materials. Your chance to spy or buy in those spaces and places where artists actually explore, experiment and create.”

The Wilson, Cheltenham’s art gallery and museum, along with the Roses Theatre, in Tewkesbury, and the gallery spaces in Cheltenham General and Gloucester Royal hospitals are all  hosting taster exhibitions that will give people a flavour of the range of work on show this year. Look out for the lamp post trail, too. Sponsored by Cheltenham BID, 10 open studios’ artists will be raising awareness of the event by hanging, weaving and wrapping their art on lamp posts across the town centre.

It’s hands on, too. As well as individual artist demonstrations and workshops at a number of venues on the trail,  Glenfall Primary School, Charlton Kings, will be playing host to an artist led, family workshop day, on Saturday 17 June. There will be kite making, sponsored by Danish design store Flying Tiger, Bar and Wok sponsored spray-painting fun, with street artist Dice, willow-weaving with Gloucestershire Guild of Craftsmen’s Susan Early and printmaking with artist Jane Sasnow and Whittington Press. It’s for all ages and abilities and all materials are provided, And it’s free! With textiles and a host of other arts and crafts activities, the organisers suggest you bring a picnic and make a day of it.

COS has also joined forces with the University of Gloucestershire, again. You can view the work of the next generation of artists in the Fine Art graduation shows at the Centre for Art and Photography, on the Hardwick Campus, whilst, a bit further up St.Paul’s Road, you can see an exhibition of winners from the internationally recognised Cheltenham Illustration Awards at Francis Close Chapel. Students from the University have also collaborated on a series of temporary installations in the newly refurbished phone boxes on the Promenade.  For the first time, Gloucestershire College will also be a venue on the trail, showing end of year exhibitions by art and design and fashion design students.

Focused on the centre of Cheltenham the art trail radiates out as far as Overbury and Broadway, in the North, Hawling, in the East, Little Witcombe, to the South, and Twigworth, to the West. Download your free guide from the COS website:

Download press release in full