Artists Open Doors For Studio Trail – This Is Somerset

Bright yellow arrows are sprouting up on the verges around Radstock, Midsomer Norton and Paulton this May, like a new variety of spring flower.

Between Thursday, May 14 and Sunday, May 17 these markers will point out the Old Bakery Artists’ Arts Trail, featuring 14 local artists’ studios and groups.

All artists taking part are members of the Old Bakery Artists (OBA) and will be selling their original work direct to the public with no gallery commission.

Art lovers can meet and chat to them over tea and biscuits, often in their own home studios.

The OBA grew out of a North East Somerset Arts initiative to make use of the empty Old Bakery in Radstock as a possible arts centre.

Early meetings in 2002 made plans for a mix of artists’ studios and exhibition space.

Unfortunately they didn’t come to fruition but the group of artists and friends gelled.

They have attracted many new members and continue to meet monthly to arrange exhibits and swap ideas.

Allayne Treadway clearly remembers early days in the group when her painting hobby began to develop into something more.

She recalls early OBA members learning together the details of how to successfully present art for sale.

Allayne is hosting an exhibition at her home with fellow artists as part of the Arts Trail.

Peter Kirkland is another early member of the OBA. He recalls an interesting evening years ago, touring the darkened interior of the Old Bakery building.

Peter’s painting grew from his architectural drawing.

Now retired, he is part of the Somer Artists Group which will be exhibiting from Peter’s home as part of the Arts Trail.

Keith Wisbey was given his first “proper” SLR camera for his 18th birthday after a childhood spent taking photos.

It was during art A-level at Radstock College that he saw the advert calling for local artists and he became the OBA’s first chair.

Keith now juggles work at a professional printers with his photography.

Find his photographic landscapes and new abstract paintings on the arts trail.

Penny Lloyd discovered painting during a childhood illness.

Her talent for watercolours has developed ever since and her home studio of vibrant paintings can be found with many more in the OBA Art Trail.

Maps are available from St Nicholas Church Centre at the Fair Trade Tea Rooms.

Voluntary donations for refreshments available at venues will be taken in aid of the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance.

Studios are open daily, between 10.30am and 6pm, and admission is free.

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