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Studio 18 is opening its doors to the community for an open day on Saturday, May 13th, from 1-3pm.

Founded in 2018, Studio 18 at Brimscombe, aims to provide a home for exciting creative work in the Stroud Area. It provides a space for various disciplines including music, applied arts and visual arts. 

It offers not only studio space in which to create, but also collaborative atmospheres in which more experienced artists can mentor – and learn from – younger artists of all disciplines. In addition, the space is able to hold exhibitions that showcase the work created there.

Many successful exhibitions and events have taken place there, including one which exhibited over 130 works by nearly 50 artists, the majority local to the Stroud area. 

In addition, the 25 and Under show offered artists just starting out in their careers a chance to show their work in a professional setting and to be involved in the whole process including curation, installation and event organisation. This led to further opportunities for several young artists.

Studio 18 2 | Studio 18 holds open day
Picture: Matt Bigwood

Young artist Natalie said: “Studio 18 is a fantastic place for young creatives. There’s always something going on and the atmosphere is really supportive for those wanting to make their careers in the arts.”

Studio 18 also worked on the Art Shelter Project with Brimscombe and Thrupp Parish Council in 2021, to revive, through art installations, the bus stops along the A419 in conjunction with local artists and schools, to build a sense of community in Brimscombe and Thrupp Parish. Studio 18 is unique in Brimscombe and Thrupp, providing a cultural hub in an area without much provision for music and the arts. 

Importantly, the team at Studio 18 see the next generation of local artists as our future, and work to support them and to kickstart their careers. Younger creatives are offered open spaces at reduced rates, which are supplemented by standard rental rates for enclosed studio spaces for established professional creatives. 

Founder and director Zachary Walsh said: “Studio 18 is a vital hub of support for the young creatives of Stroud. We really want more people to know about all the work we put in down here to nurture and develop the creative future of Stroud. It’s not easy – especially at this time when costs are rising, and income is under threat from people’s stretched budgets and the lack of support out there generally for the arts. But we believe that what we’re doing is really important, and not only for the artists who use our space. Creative people make this area what it is: a vibrant and exciting place to live.”

As well as revenue from studio spaces, the space also hosts exciting music events. In addition, they run community projects through which they apply for funding. Their recent project, funded by Gloucestershire County Council’s ‘Grow your communities’, was to instate a film editing suit with screening facilities, mainly aimed at young budding film makers to practise their craft and gain experience.

Jagdish Patel, longtime collaborator and supporter of Studio 18, added: “We are really excited to welcome the community to our space on 13th May. We might be known to some as a studio space, to others as a place where HAF [council-funded holiday activities for kids] activities happen, to others as a music venue. We’d like the community to know that we do a huge variety to support our local creatives, and that this is their space too – no matter your age or your artistic ability!”

Local councillor Beki Aldam also comments, “We are really lucky to have a space like Studio 18 in our community. The way it champions local artists, young artists and all creatives, means it’s a unique resource and a really exciting space. We need to look after places like this, especially when times are tough, because people need art to keep going and be able to find ways to enjoy life.”

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