Cowal Open Studios wants to provide a helping hand to the next generation of artists with the launch of its own mentorship programme. Its “Emerging Artist” scheme aims to encourage up-and-coming creative talent by teaming them up with established COS artists.
The first participant of the ‘Emerging Artist’ Mentorship Programme is Skye Beautyman, who has recently completed the program and is now heading off to Queen Margaret University for a four-year course studying Costume Design & Construction.
“The opportunity to learn alongside a selection of Cowal Open Studios (COS) artists has been great and has taught me loads of new skills that I’ll hopefully be able to use as part of my university course and in later working life,” explained 20-year-old Skye who hopes to work within the theatre sector, designing and making costumes, soft props and puppets.
As part of the programme, Skye spent time working alongside COS members Shirley Torrance, Karen Komurcu and Mhairi Scott and learnt a range of fabric and printmaking skills involving different mediums.
“All three of the artists have been fantastic and great tutors. Learning all of the processes involved in the creativity has been such an exciting thing to learn, and I’m really grateful for the time they’ve spent with me,” added Skye, whose mother, Pauline Beautyman, is an accomplished ceramic artist with her own studio, Sea Drift Pottery, based in Sandbank.
One of the mentors, Mhairi Scott from Toward, commented, “It’s great that we’ve got such a vibrant community of artists here in Cowal that can pass on their skills and knowledge to the artists of the future. I have really enjoyed being a part of the mentoring programme this year, and I hope that it will continue to benefit future students.
I hope that Skye knows that they can return with any questions that they may have in the future as they complete their studies in Musselburgh.
“A key aspect of Skye’s training has been learning all about the importance of sustainability when it comes to sourcing the products that you use and the thoughtful disposal of any excess materials.”
Skye agreed, “Living so close to nature here in Dunoon means that we are so much more aware of our impact on the environment, and it makes us think more about how we can protect it even in our creative processes.”
Along with all of the Cowal artists, Shirley, Karen, and Mhairi will be opening up their studios for the COS open weekend that runs from the 22nd to the 25th of September.
Skye will also be displaying work alongside Shirley in Innellan. Around 50 artists from across the length and breadth of the Cowal peninsula are taking part with four designated routes; north, south, east and west.
Mhairi concluded, “The open studios weekend in Cowal provides an excellent opportunity to visit and absorb the inspiration and techniques used by so many different artists. It draws people to the area and celebrates its creativity. Getting to know this beautiful location is an added benefit of visiting the open studios event.”
For more details on the ‘Emerging Artist’ Mentorship Programme, visit www.cowalopenstudios.co.uk.
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