Deadline for artists to join the September 2017 North Devon Art Trek is June 1

Artist Deborah Last at work. Picture: Fiona Scott PhotographyArtist Deborah Last at work. Picture: Fiona Scott Photography

The call has gone out for artists and makers to sign up for Art Trek 2017.

The closing date for people to take part in the successful September open studios event is June 1.

It was back in 2003 when a small group of artists across the area decided to throw open the doors to their homes and studios as part of the North Devon Festival.

Now 14 years on this well-established open showcase continues to give visitors a behind-the-scenes look at work from some of the best artists and makers in the area as they again open their homes, studios, gardens and shared venues.

Art Trek artist Mitch Pilkington in her studio.Art Trek artist Mitch Pilkington in her studio.

Last year more than 50 artists were featured, exhibiting their work, offering insights into their working practice and discussing the techniques used in their creative processes.

Bideford artist and ceramicist, Michael Storrs took part in Art Trek for the first time in 2016.

He said: “I was amazed how many people came to see my work and it was interesting to get comments and take on things.

“I found that overall it was a very positive experience and I also sold some work. Plus to my great delight, I have been offered an exhibition of my work in Paris at the end of this year.”

As well as the opportunity to show their work, artists also received eight commissions to create bespoke pieces off the back of the 2016 Art Trek. One commission alone was worth £50,000, for two artists to work together on a major sculpture.

Barnstaple artist Mike Woollacott has taken part since 2007. He said: “Over the years I have found it very rewarding to meet lots of interesting people, whether they are local, or in many cases, have travelled considerable distances.

“Obviously selling my art is a bonus, but I have found the contacts I make are extremely beneficial, in that people may purchase at a later date or even recommend me to friends and family.”

For the first time, Art Trek will be produced by White Moose Projects CIC. One of its founders, Stella Levy has been involved with Art Trek since its inception.

She said: “This open studios event is much loved in the area, both by the artists taking part and visitors to the event and with White Moose now supporting the annual Art Trek, it will ensure the open studios goes forward with a renewed vitality.”

Artists wanting information and to take part are invited to email before June 1.