Spring Fling Visitors Put Their Collections on Show at Gracefield

A 15th anniversary exhibition dedicated to art collections created due to the annual Spring Fling open studios event has opened at Gracefield Arts Centre.

Dozens of art lovers from across the region attended a special preview event on Friday evening, including Dumfries and Galloway Council Events Champion and local MSP Colin Smyth.

Since 2003 private and public collectors have been using Spring Fling as an opportunity to invest in art and craft by emerging and established artists and makers across Dumfries and Galloway.

Collected: 15 Years of Spring Fling, takes place from 22 April to 13 May. It includes pieces from four private collections and some that belong to Gracefield.

Joanna Macaulay, Events and Exhibitions Manager for Upland Arts Development, which runs Spring Fling, said: “The exhibition got off to a superb start and the preview was a real success. It was great to see many of the artists whose work was exhibited having the chance to chat to collectors who bought it.
 “Everyone seemed to enjoy the selection of art and craft on show – and seeing all sorts of pieces that other people have chosen for their own homes.”

Spring Fling was set up and run by Dumfries and Galloway Council to provide a showcase for the region’s creative community and to attract cultural tourism.

Nowadays it is run independently but has continued council support. This year it received a grant of £32,500 towards the cost of the event, which will see 93 artists and makers throw open their studio doors from 27-29 May. Spring Fling has seen an estimated £2,337,000 being invested in art and craft from the region and has also generated around £11.4m for the area’s economy.

Figures indicate that well over 130,000 people made nearly 378,000 studio visits between 2003 and 2016.

Councillor Smyth, said: “I really enjoyed seeing this exhibition which highlights how living and working in Dumfries and Galloway has inspired so many artists and craft makers.”
  • Gracefield is open Tue-Sat, 10am-5pm and the exhibition is free.
  • Spring Fling is Scotland’s premier visual art and contemporary craft open studios event covering all Dumfries and Galloway, South West Scotland. It is produced by Upland CIC.
  • Some 94 artists and craft makers took part in 2016.
  • The studios welcomed 13,500 unique visitors who made 40,500 visits to the studios and galleries.
  • Together they spent £1.5m (up from £1.46m in 2015) on art, craft, accommodation, food and drink – bringing substantial benefits for the regional economy.
  • For further details on Spring Fling please visit spring-fling.co.uk or contact the team on [email protected]

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