Norfolk Open Studios 2021
Martin Pigg in his studio. Photo credit: Moseley Imagery

Norfolk Open Studios returns for 2021

With new autumn dates

One of the most successful Open Studios schemes in the country is returning to Norfolk this autumn. Makers and creators will be opening their studio doors across the county as part of Norfolk Open Studios 2021.

The well-loved annual event, which was cancelled last year due to the pandemic, will take place across 16 days in September and October, a change in dates for the event which will allow visitors to explore and experience Norfolk in the autumn.

More than 320 artists will be taking part across 267 venues to share and sell their work.

Artists will be at work in their studios, garages, spare rooms, garden rooms, community spaces and schools sharing how they work.

Norfolk Open Studios 2021
Nigel Skinner in his studio. Photo credit: Matthew Usher

The free event annually attracts thousands of visitors and in 2019 more than 31,000 people flocked to studios across Norfolk to meet our county’s artists.

Ros Dixon, Norfolk Open Studios Administrator, said: “We are so happy that Norfolk Open Studios is returning, a widely loved scheme that artists and visitors look forward to each year.

“2021 will see it run at its new time in early autumn, allowing visitors to capture that special time of year as well as helping Norfolk Open Studios to develop a clear and bold identity as an autumn event.

“We can’t wait to be back in the studios, smelling the paint and kilns, getting to ask those questions we’ve always wanted to know from the artists themselves and maybe even having a go at creating something ourselves. And the chance to buy art direct from the artist is very special.”

Artists at all stages of their careers take part, from school and college students through to emerging artists and established and professional artists and makers.

Norfolk Open Studios
Pippa Thurlow in her studio. Photo credit: Mike Thurlow

Visitors will find painters, sculptors, weavers, furniture makers, jewellery makers and lots more throughout the varied landscapes of Norfolk.

Alongside opening their studios, many artists will be offering events, demonstrations and workshops to share their skills and practice.

This year the scheme will welcome 23 schools to the event as well as 13 Art Trails, allowing visitors to enjoy several studios in one day.

One visitor to the last Open Studios event said: “What a delightful visit. Beautiful paintings, ceramics and glass, demonstrating such skill and creativity. I even had the opportunity to use a pottery wheel for the first time in 40 years.”

Artists taking part could not be more excited to be opening their studios to visitors.

Norfolk Open Studios 2021
Artist Jenni Murphy in her studio. Photo credit: Mark Ashby

Jenni Murphy, who is based at Muspole Workshops in Norwich, said: “Open Studios is the perfect platform to make art accessible in an industry that can sometimes feel too exclusive. I can’t wait to welcome everyone and offer them a fun, relaxed and happy environment in which to view art.”

A preview exhibition will take place at The Forum between Tuesday 17th and Sunday 22nd August, offering visitors the chance to get a taste of what is on offer and plan their Open Studios visits.

The free exhibition is open 9.30am – 6pm daily, closing at 4pm on Sunday 22 August.

Ros Dixon said: “The Preview Exhibition at the Forum is always exciting and inspiring. It’s a chance to see work by so many of this year’s Norfolk Open Studios artists all under one roof and, for me, it’s when the scheme really comes alive.

“You get to see so many art forms side-by-side, and there will always be something for everyone to enjoy. You also get to meet the artists in person throughout the week, it really demonstrates what Norfolk Open Studios is all about.”

Artist Sally Hirst said: “The exhibition in the Forum always helps give a taste of the work people can see. The range of artists taking part is always amazing.

“I take part in Open Studios to showcase my work, to sell work and to enable people to see what I do and how I do
it. As a full-time professional artist, I spend a lot of time on my own, it’s great to have the opportunity to meet people and chat.

“Meeting up with people in-person will be a delight. It feels like we are coming out of the cloud that has been hanging over us for over a year. As artists we have been the lucky ones, we have had our work to keep us busy, but we are all keen to see people, to talk about our work.”

One visitor to the last Open Studios event said: “What a delightful visit. Beautiful paintings, ceramics and glass, demonstrating such skill and creativity. I even had the opportunity to use a pottery wheel for the first time in 40 years.”

Norfolk Open Studios will take place between 25 September and 10 October 2021.

For more information visit

Norfolk Open Studios will be a part of Norfolk Wonder, a series of activities across the county this autumn presented by Norfolk & Norwich Festival. The programme is to be announced on 6th August. The Norfolk Wonder programme is a part of a Norfolk County Council initiative designed to attract audiences to Norfolk for experiential tourism in the off- season of October 2021 to March 2022.

Norfolk Open Studios

Norfolk Open Studios

For 16 days each year, the award-winning Norfolk Open Studios celebrates the county’s artists and their achievements by offering them the opportunity to open their doors to the public to exhibit, sell and talk about their work.

In 2020 the event was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and instead ran Norfolk Open Studios Online.

Norfolk Open Studios has established itself as one of the largest and most successful open studios schemes in the country. It gives visitors the opportunity to see new art, meet artists, and – with many of the works on display being for sale – to buy original artworks directly from their creators.

Studios are free to visit and visitors don’t need to book in advance, unless they are a large group.

Norfolk Open Studios is run by Norfolk & Norwich Festival as one of its initiatives. The Festival manages Norfolk Open Studios in partnership with Norfolk artists and makers. It is distinct from the annual Norfolk & Norwich Festival which takes place in May each year.


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