HOMES across Belper will once again be turned into impromptu art galleries next month as part of the second Belper Open Houses event.
This year the free attraction will double in size - with 22 terraced, semi and detached houses included in the programme of events - as well as The Black Swan pub in Market Place, Fleet Arts Centre and The Studio in Queen Street.
Founded by local artists Viv Scott and Sheila Guyatt, the event takes its inspiration from Bristol’s Neighbourhood Arts Trail, which involves hundreds of artists showcasing their works all over the city.
Since 1998, when Bristol artists Sarah Cowper and Cath Read launched that event from their homes, it has exploded, with more than 50 venues, 100 artists and 1,000 art works exhibited by local school children.
It is hoped that Belper’s very own event can emulate the runaway success of its south westerly cousin and grow into a permanent fixture on the town’s arts calendar - giving aspiring artists across the area a platform to showcase their works.
Ms Scott said: “We have been surprised by the response we have had and how it is growing. A lot of people have seen the website and are becoming aware of it - word is really going around the town.
“Last year we had around 200 people as we asked the artists to count them as they came in - and that was with 12 venues. This year we have 25 places to visit, including a pub, which is an interesting development.”
Among the art on display during the event, which takes place on June 2 and 3 from 10am to 5pm, will be sculptures, paintings, jewellery, basket making, patchwork, ceramics, textiles, stained glass flowers and photography.
To find out more about the artists and event log-on to www.belperopenhouses.com or phone 01773 822 253/823 939.
Ms Scott added: “Artists have a hard time making their living and we just hope that this can push something their way. However, you don’t need to buy anything - just go along and see the beautiful art that is out there.”