VISITORS to next weekend’s Spring Fling will have the opportunity to see hundreds of pieces art, from paintings and a puppet circus to ceramics, luxury wedding adornments and even a piece of new performance art.

The open studios weekend welcomed more than 31,000 visitors, generating £1.2 million for the local economy in Dumfries and Galloway last year.

This year, the three-day event, held in tandem with the opening weekend of Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival, will see 93 studios across the region open their doors to the public.

Spring Fling was established 17 years ago by local artists wishing to showcase their work to a wider audience. Organisers say the 2019 edition will be the most family-friendly yet, with a series of classes and workshops either side of the event for those who would like to learn more from the featured artists.

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Spring Fling and its parent organisation Upland run schemes to support emerging talent. This year, young creatives taking part include 3D artist Emily Tough, maker of The Illustrated Circus, an automated big top filled with handmade puppet circus performers, and jewellery maker Sarah Rogers, recipient of an Upland Emerge bursary which gave her nine months of mentoring with established makers.

During Spring Fling, Rogers will launch her new collection of bridal tiaras and hairpieces.

For the first time the open-studios event will feature a performance artist sharing work.

Jordan Chisholm, a recent first-class honours graduate from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland will perform parts of her new piece This One’s For You.

Joanna Macaulay, Upland’s events and exhibitions manager, says: “We are delighted to have such a strong and varied group of young participants this year – between them they are bringing an abundance of fresh ideas and perspectives to Spring Fling. It’s essential for the region, and the country, that we nurture emerging artists and makers so they can build rewarding careers and so that we can continue building on the success of our creative economy – which has a worldwide reputation for excellence.”

Macaulay says Spring Fling, more than half of whose visitors came from outwith Dumfries and Galloway last year, is a key part of the year the region’s more established artists and makers.

“For many Spring Fling is where they make a part of their yearly income,” she says.

“There will be many works for sale, and if not, it’s often due to the nature of the work they’re producing, such as installations, or this year with Jordan, performance art.

“We have an amazing range of artists and makers taking part this year – really underling why Spring Fling has become such a popular and successful part of Scotland’s arts scene. It’s a chance to meet some remarkable people, visit some extraordinary homes and studios and explore one of the most beautiful parts of Scotland.”

May 25 to 27, studios across Dumfries and Galloway.