Lys Hansen, Honorary Chair FVOS

All Together Now!
It is a great pleasure to welcome you all: artists, makers, visitors and the surrounding communities to our Open Studios and to share and enjoy our creativity. This is always a splendid time of year with fl owering gardens and beautiful countryside to explore and to seek out some of the studios and exhibitions and to see what artists have been creating all winter for your enjoyment and appreciation.

There have been changes in the area — Avril Nicol, our very gifted project co-ordinator has moved her beautiful gallery from Bridge of Allan to Dundas Street in Edinburgh and we wish her every success. We are very appreciative of the time and care she takes to make the Forth Valley Art Beat (FVAB) the success and the popular event that it is.

Lots of hard work goes into co-ordinating this event, which is, as you know, spread over this large area. I want very much for us to feel that we are together and supportive of each other. Together we have strength and we have presence not only for ourselves but in making a valuable contribution in our communities. It is probably not possible for visitors to see every studio and exhibition, so a few representative shows from urban areas merit a mention here:

This year, in Stirling, Catherine King and Lesley Anne Derks will showcase their work at the Tolbooth Gallery. It is also interesting to note that the Smith Art Gallery will host an exhibition by the Glasgow Society of Women Artists (GSWA).

In Alloa at the Makers Gallery and Bistro there is also change. Over the past five years they have shown many art works from near and far…as well as very good coffee and food. From now on, however, only the Reach Out programme will continue. It is ofgreat benefit to young people taking part, Artists at Marcelle House continue to flourish, as does Resonate Arts, with its many art classes and events.

In Falkirk Marjory Sime is hosting an exhibition in the Howgate Centre in aid of the Seagull Trust charity. Artist Lesley Banks is opening a studio in the former tearoom in Callendar Park and from there visitors can go to the nearby Callendar House to view an exhibition of her work. Lesley is the current Artist in Residence there.

So, you lovely people taking time to read this, you will have a fine time — so enjoy it as much as possible. Please support your artists, take along some friends and have fun, too. We are all in this together! So let’s all keep it going.

P.S. Should you be in the vicinity, remember that Stirling University is 50 years old this year and they have a wonderful collection of Scottish Art in the Pathfoot Building — well worth a visit — again and again.