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Open Up Sheffield

As artists across Sheffield prepare to welcome the public into their studios, Open Up committee member Miranda Trojanowska reflects on 24 years of the creative mainstay.

Jacqueline Hilson 2022
Jacqueline Hilson

For more than two decades, Open Up Sheffield has provided a platform for artists to share their work with the public from the comfort of their own studios. The family-friendly event runs over two weekends this year and we can’t wait to see what’s on offer. I chatted to artist and committee member Miranda Trojanowska to find out more.

What is Open Up? How and why did it start?

Open Up Sheffield is one of the largest and most successful annual open studio events outside London. It's run by a dedicated team of volunteers, all of whom are practising artists and craftspeople and headed by Open Up Chair, Annette Petch. It was in 1998 when Keith Hayman and Kate Jacob initiated Open Up Sheffield as a platform for artists to showcase their skills and share their creative disciplines with members of the public.

What types of art can people expect to see featured in the studios?

The event comprises workshops, demonstrations and exhibitions across the two weekends and a chance to talk to participating artists. Many visitors can buy a unique piece of artwork and even commission a bespoke piece. Artwork has included watercolour, oil and acrylic paints, jewellery, ceramics, textiles, crafts, wood, glass, photography, print, mixed media and even handmade shoes.

You’ve been a long-time exhibitor at Open Up, and went on to become a committee member. Why did you decide to take on this additional role and what does it involve?

I took up art after an academic career as a research scientist in biochemistry and continued painting whilst lecturing in biology and forensic science when I moved to Sheffield. I learnt about Open Up Sheffield when I came across a brochure featuring artists exhibiting their work. I was immediately drawn to this artistic community and wanted to get involved; Open Up Sheffield is an event for artists, run by volunteer practicing artists – it would not run without volunteers and we are always on the lookout for more committee members. My role is publicity, which involves contacting newspapers, magazines, online magazines and online forums to feature the event.

Miranda Trojanowska
Miranda Trojanowska

Open Up has been running since 1998. Why do you think it has enjoyed such longevity?

Open Up Sheffield is a free event and showcases the incredible talent that we have in South Yorkshire and Derbyshire. The event also prides itself on being family-friendly, so much so that it is now a validated Children’s University Learning Destination, meaning that children can complete an art activity in their own time in order to earn credits to gain awards and certificates. It is a great event for the whole family, as well as amateur artists, professional artists or just interested members of the public.

And finally, what are you most looking forward to at Open Up 2022?

I am looking forward to visiting as many studios as possible and talking to artists about their process. I will be exhibiting my art at DINA (12 Fitzalan Square, S1 2AZ) from 30 April to 8 May. Opening times: Wed 10am-5pm; Thu 10am-11pm; Fri 10am-1am; Sat 10am-1am; Sun 6pm-10pm.

DINA is an independent, inclusive and innovative art organisation for Sheffield and beyond; it is situated in a beautiful building with lots of space and great lighting for art exhibitions. I am so excited to have my paintings in this incredible space.

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