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Open Studios event returns to Gaucín in May

Photographer Vivienne Whiffen will be exhibiting at the Open Studios event.
Photographer Vivienne Whiffen will be exhibiting at the Open Studios event. / SUR
  • This is the perfect opportunity not only to discover the charms of the village, but to pop into each artist's own studio and watch them at work

When the month of May arrives, it is time to head to the beautiful white village of Gaucín, in the Serranía de Ronda, for the Art Gaucín Open Studios weekends which have become a well-known fixture of the art scene in Andalucía.

As usual, the event will be taking place over two weekends. This year's dates to note in the diary are Friday 25 to Sunday 27 May and Friday 1 to Sunday 3 June.

This is the perfect opportunity not only to discover the charms of the village, which is set amid stunning countryside, but to pop into each artist's own studio, see their latest creations, learn more about their techniques and watch them at work. It also gives visitors the chance to purchase unique works of art, with the added pleasure of having met the artist in person.

Art takes many forms, so the Open Studios event includes not only paintings but sculptures, ceramics, photography, weaving, jewellery, textiles and lithographs.

Many of the artists' names will be instantly recognisable to art lovers in the area, as they are members of Art Gaucin and exhibit every year.

They include painters Joseba Sánchez Zabaleta, Ana Pellón, Nozomi Hatano and Paddy Robinson, photographers Chris Klees and Vivienne Whiffen, ceramic artists Juan Antonio Sangil, Rosie Venables and Anna McGrane, and sculptors Sebastian Fisher and Silvia Franco.

Two other long-established and popular local artists are Jim Rattenbury, whose paintings and sculptures are in several private collections abroad, and Michael Roschlau, former Glasgow School of Art lecturer, whose works include lithographs, paintings and intricate and very surprising clockwork wall sculptures.

This year, visitors to Art Gaucín's Open Studios will also have the chance to enjoy the work of guest artists Javier Machimbarrena, from Spain, and Gerrit Oppelland-Hampel, who is from Germany.

With its warren of quiet, pretty streets, Gaucin is a delightful place to explore on foot. It has ancient castle ruins, offers spectacular views across the coast and towards Africa, and provides plenty of places to linger over a coffee, tapas or something more substantial while enjoying those panoramas as the village has several justifiably popular and celebrated restaurants.

With the upgrading of the road from Gaucin to the coast, access is faster and smoother now; it is just a 45-minute drive from Estepona and 40 minutes from Ronda.

The full list of artists, details of their works and the Art Gaucin Open Studios event can be found on the website www.artgaucin.com