Take Part


Dates for Open for Art 19 are 18th May to 2nd June, – put them in your diary.
 We are planning for this event and if you are interested in volunteering your help, please get in touch with us.

If you’d like to keep up to date with the details of Open For Art 2019, sign up to the mailing list. Open for Art is run by Artwey, so you have the option to also sign up for Artwey news.

Here is the timeline, which may be subject to slight changes as we get nearer the dates but does give you an idea of timescale:

  • Call for artists, organising venues: from now onwards
  • Registration: 1st January to 11th February
  • Children and young people’s images deadline 6th February
  • Amendments to text: up to 28th February
  • All booklet info, adverts, young people’s competition final deadline 28th February
  • Final proofreading and printing: March
  • Delivery to distributors 1st to 8th April
  • Distribution: 8th April onwards. Booklets in place by Easter Saturday 20th April
  • Launch Event Saturday 11th May

Who can take part and how

We would like to say at the outset that you don’t have to live in our designated area or be a member of Artwey to take part. It is an event for all visual artists.
However the venues open do need to be within the South Dorset area as anything too far West will encroach on Bridport and East on Purbeck. We are ok with venues a little further North from Dorchester but those who sign up too far North will be isolated and therefore have very few visitors so not financially viable. For guidance in 2017 the most Northerly studios were in Charlton Down and Puddletown and both had a reasonable number of visitors each.
Open for Art is just what it says: lots of varied venues opening their doors to display art – but we do know that many who visit appreciate seeing the artist in their working environment doing their art. So, whilst static displays are still perfectly acceptable, the optimum, where possible, is to offer a range of open studios in each area as well.

There are lots of options open to artists:

  1. Open your own studio
  2. Share your own studio with a fellow artist
  3. You could be that fellow artist. We currently have spaces for 3D artists, sculptures, ceramicists, wirework, jewellers. Contact us if interested in sharing
  4. You could take part in a group show. Currently we have 3 such great venues being organised at The Old Town Hall Weymouth, The Heights Hotel Portland and Strangeways Hall in Abbotsbury. If you want to know more details, then contact us as there are limited places. We are still looking at more possibilities for group shows in the other areas: Dorchester, Poundbury, Abbotsbury
    Please use the contact form to enquire about these locations.
  5. Exhibit in already manned spaces like cafes, pubs, restaurants and existing galleries. Last year we even used a solicitor’s office. There are options we can suggest that you can investigate if you contact us, or better still find your own. However, remember that these options could go quickly and also that some possible spaces will only be contactable during the summer/autumn season

We are offering:

    1. promotion of your venue on-line in our new dedicated website
    2. promotion of your venue in 20,000 professionally produced booklets distributed throughout the region and beyond
    3. over 100 street signs erected by DOMVS plus more for various localities
    4. 6 direction signs and venue banner per venue
    5. free entry to, and participation in, our launch party at the beautiful and prestigious Sculpture by the Lake
    6. publicity in local & county wide magazines
    7. promotion of not only the event but also of you as an artist on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
    8. 15 volunteers, including dedicated area reps, working on your behalf to organise this event
    9. The campaign support of 5 sponsors

£100 for a quarter page in an A5 brochure. Artwey members get a discount and pay only £85. Find out about Artwey membership.
Words will be limited so they don’t end up too small to read and you can have up to 2 images in there. Half page is £200 etc. Price is based on one venue, and the size of entry not the number of people in it.

Who to contact for help

We have artists helping to organise Poundbury, Dorchester, Abbotsbury and Portland, so Weymouth and north east of Dorchester could do with some volunteers to help with the initial networking and communication between potential studios. Anyone who can buddy up with those already in place would be appreciated too.

Please use the form to contact the person who best relates to your query.

General enquiries & Volunteering: Carol and Olivia.

Portland: Lyn Kirkland
Poundbury: Judy Tate
Abbotsbury: Caroline Nairn
Dorchester: Caz Scott
Dorchester East: Carol Cruickshank
Weymouth: Olivia Nurrish

Young People’s Involvement


  • All local secondary schools will be asked, late October early November, to put forward one pupil from years 7 to 9 and one from years 10 to 13 from their school on the basis of a budding artist who would benefit from (and be able) exhibiting in an Open for Art group exhibition. Images can be sent to us in form of jpegs via email.
  • Each should have 1 piece of work submitted that should be framed and A3 sized. 2D visual art in any medium.
  • All 12 pieces of work will be exhibited in brochure and Open for Art group exhibition and 2 prizes will be awarded for the most promising artist in each category, winning entries to be judged by International Artist Simon Gudgeon


  • Children and parents will be alerted to this competition via mailshot, web site, newspapers posters Facebook and Artwey website in the Autumn.
  • Theme
    I imagine ……..
  • An opportunity for your child to take part in a competition to exhibit alongside artists in Open for Art. Create something from your imagination which is personal, thoughtful and creative.
  • Each child should have 1 image of their work submitted that can be framed, if chosen to be exhibited during Open for Art. Artwork should be 2D visual art in any medium up to a maximum of A3 size.
  • There are 2 age categories: 4 to 7 years and 8 to 11 years. Each category will have one winner and two runners up. All 3 in each category will have their work exhibited – I.e. 6 children in total, winners chosen by Domvs
  • Deadline date for all children and young people’s images is 6th February
  • Images can be submitted by the contact form.

Social Media

This is a fantastic offer to promote you and your work, whether you use social media or not. Social media is the most effective ways of connecting with your audience and collectors on a level you otherwise would’ve never known outside of the web. It allows collectors and fans to connect more intimately with the artist and allows for a stronger relationship with the art itself.

We would encourage all our artists to use these media to promote themselves as well as Open for Art. In order to help those who do not use these platforms or only have a basic knowledge of Facebook, Twitter or Instagram we will be organising workshops, in combination with The Arts Development Company in the new year.  

We now have 3 volunteers promoting and managing 3 different social media platforms for Open for Art:

Facebook: open for art Dorset @openforart19-Lyn Kirkland
The run up to Open for Art registration is an important time to increase our audience, both Artists and the buying public. So please do ‘like and follow’ our Facebook page Open for Art Dorset @openforart19 and share with all your friends on Facebook. The page is public and so anyone can post on it, but we will be approving posts to ensure they support the overall campaign. If you already post to other Groups which are Art or travel/holiday related, please do link to our page to encourage visitors and artists to follow us.

Instagram: openforart_dorset – Antje Rook
Instagram is an easy and effective platform to promote art and art events, because it is a visual platform which operates with photos. This means you don’t need to write long texts or think of the right words, people on Instagram want to see pictures!! I encourage everyone to join Instagram and follow our account: openforart_dorset

When you post, please use our main hashtags #openforartdorset #openforart19 #artwey. If you do this, it will enable me to promote you and your work. If you are a little nervous about using a new social media platform, here is a link to help you get started

Twitter: is @openforart19 #openforartdorset – Stephen Yates
Search and follow us on twitter.
Here are ten really useful tips to help you.

Media campaign for the Launch
There will be a paid for social media campaign run by a professional to promote the launch of Open for Art at Sculpture by the Lakes and the upcoming OFA19 event courtesy of our sponsor Sculpture by the lakes.

Official Launch Details

The date put aside for this is Saturday May 11th.
We are excited to announce that this will be happening on Saturday 11th May 2019 at Sculpture by the Lakes. This beautiful setting will also act as a venue for 5 or so artists during Open For Art.

The launch will be a daytime event intended to showcase our OFA artists using en plein air painting, demonstrations, workshops and static displays to a paying public likely to be in excess of 500 in number. The event is free to artists participating on the day. Save the date if you are able as this will also be a great opportunity for press and media coverage before the event. Simon and Monique Gudgeon, who run Sculpture by the Lakes, will be sending out more details to signed-up artist participants nearer the date


Domvs are again sponsoring the event and will be putting up a 100 road side banners throughout the area.
Sculpture by the Lakes and Artwey are also sponsors.
Our grant request was successful with Weymouth Bid and we pleased to announce West Dorst District Council are also a sponsor of Open for Art. 


We are looking for support from the business community either in the form of sponsorship or advertising.  If you feel you can assist in any way in the former or provide prizes for our Children’s Competition winners, please contact us.

Alternatively, advertisements in the brochure can be purchased from £100 for a quarter page, or £85 for Artwey business partners. Some businesses might consider offering a free or discounted product on production of the brochure in their advert.

If you wish to place an advert, submit your entry via the advertisers form, available on this website from 1st January to 11th February 2019, which is the deadline for submission and payments.


Open for Art 2019 logo

For use in your publicity. (Click to open full size. Then right click and choose the option to download or save as.)

Open For Art Primary poster

Help publicise the Young People’s competition. (Click to open full size. Then right click and choose the option to download or save as.)

Open For Art Primary poster PDF

Help publicise the Young People’s competition. (Click to download high res PDF to print.)

Contact the team

Please complete the form, selecting your reason for getting in touch, and your message will be sent to the person responsible for your query.