artists, studios, Hampshire, a mess

my headache has now just about gone, but I have a rant, and it has been lurking for a few days and is getting worse, so I must put it on here!

As many of you know a couple of years ago I took part in what was called then, Hampshire Artists. Now it has been re-named Hampshire Open Studios to match the rest of the other schemes around the country. You may be aware that I think the organisation of the project is pretty awful, and unfortunately I do not think it has the credentials of other Open Studios schemes.

But this year I have been disappointed as a buyer, not an exhibitor, which is so much worse.
Firstly the brochure is terrible to read and understand, just awful, no design goes into it, and it is extremely illogical, but I guess you could just say that is my taste.
But looking through the brochure, and looking for an artist I have visited before, I come to a page and find this,

I just feel that this is so rude and uncalled for, why do this, is it to humiliate that person, as of course they know who they are. Having worked with printers for many years, I know that this was unnecessary as that could have been entered very late in the day, or something else could have been placed there instead. So there is the first part, the second part happened on Saturday.

We went to look at an artist who I have never managed to go to in previous years, a ceramist, I love ceramics, I wish I could try it, some of my most favorites and treasured pieces of art are ceramics, so to see this lady, who has a great reputation was to be a treat.

So we drive the 15 miles, get to the location and find that it is shut, not to be put off, and slightly annoyed that I have wasted my time, I ring the number given in the brochure. I speak to the woman, she tells me she is shut, and she will not be opening at all! No apologies for my wasted journey, no reason, nothing.
Now I know there could be a perfectly good and valid reason, but none was offered, nothing, and that upset me, this woman is not a first time exhibitor, she knows that people do travel long distance to see artists, especially well known ones. I know that is considers herself to be one of these as she told my mother in law a couple of years ago!

It really put a downer on it for me, because not only does she spoil it for herself, but probably for other artists too, because if someone goes to her, as the first person to visit, are they going to carry on driving all over the county, will they think that everyone will be like that?

I had thought about maybe trying to do it again, when both of the boys are settled, but after this time I really have to call into question why anyone would want to be involved with such a process.

BUT! We did go and see some ceramists and a textile artist, and they were fab, really friendly, a lovely studio, and it was great! So if you live in Hampshire, do try to see at least one person this coming week, because you might see one that really makes it worth your while! I got these, and they are lovely : )

And also they were very reasonably priced, if you are interested I will send you the details, but all I have is an e-mail address which I don’t really want to put on here!