surrey artist of the year

How Do I Join Surrey Artists Open Studios?

Who Are SAOS (Surrey Artists Open Studios)?

Surrey Artists Open Studios are a community arts group offering a membership scheme for all artists, designers & makers based in Surrey.  They provide support and publicity to artists and an event programme for the public to meet the artists and see their work first hand.


Caroline surrey artists open studios
Caroline Jackman, SAOS member

How Do I Join Surrey Artists Open Studios?

You can join the Surrey Artists Open Studios  at any time of the year and it costs £40 per year.  Go to the SAOS Membership page to register.  You will be asked to pay online.

Once you have been allocated a webpage you can add an artist’s description, contact details and up to 12 images.  You will also be able to add and update events throughout the year. In the Artist’s Information Booklet on the website you will also find helpful advice on preparing your page and images.

What Does Surrey Artists Open Studios Offer?

The Surrey Artists Open Studios offers artists a membership package that includes a webpage with up to 12 images, free or subsidised networking and training events, the option to participate in the summer and Christmas Open Studio events and additional exhibition and workshop opportunities.

Through the open studio events you may be selected for the prize draw or the Surrey Artist of the Year competition.  In short joining the SAOS will give your arts practice additional marketing and promotional opportunities.  Their online resource “Find a Surrey Artist” is frequently used by the public to search for an artist by name, media or area.


Alan brain surrey artists open studios
Abstract artist Alan Brain in his studio

What Are Open Studios?

Surrey Artists Open Studios artists take part in two open studios events each year. One in the summer and the second at Christmas.  Open studios are where artists and makers open their doors to the public

It is a great opportunity to see the artist’s workspace, meet the artists and buy original art commission free.  The studios can be in a studio complex, a house or in the garden shed.  It is a great way to reach a wider audience and promote your work.

What Is The Surrey Artist Of The Year Competition?

Each year Surrey Artists Open Studios in partnership with the New Ashgate Gallery host the SAOY competition.  The public are asked to vote for their favourite artists during their visits at the Summer Open Studios.  You have to visit more than four studios to be eligible to vote.

From this initial stage the top ten artists then exhibit in the Surrey Artist of the Year Exhibition held at the New Ashgate Gallery.  A final vote from visitors of the exhibition and judging panel confirms a winner.  The winning artist then receives support from the gallery to develop work for a solo show the following year.


janet  surrey artists pen studios
Janet Crook accepting her award as Surrey Artist of the Year 2013


tessa pearson surrey artists open studios
Tessa Pearson, Surrey Artist of the Year 2012.

What Is The Surrey Artists Open Studios Bursary Scheme?

Each year Surrey Artists Open Studios offer three bursaries to Surrey based artists and makers.  Their aim is to help early career artists by using the open studios summer event as an affordable platform.

Emerging artists benefit from the financial help and exposure which then enriches the growing local artist community.  The winners receive free entry to the Open Studios Summer Event worth £70.  They also get free entry to one of the Surrey Artists Open Studios training courses worth £25.

To be considered for future bursaries Contact Surrey Artists Open Studios with details of your practice, why you think you should win a bursary and your ambitions for the future.  You must be living or creating work in Surrey to be eligible and cannot be a member or past member of SAOS.  Selected artists must join the SAOS scheme.

Many of the SAOS members are also members of KAOS and you will find them taking part in events organised by both groups.

Keep up to date with Surrey Artists Open Studios and follow them on Facebook and Twitter

Read our interviews with SAOS members Laura Burke and Buffy Kimm.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *