Some of you may have wondered where I have disappeared to! Well, it has been quite a journey and the destination has not yet been reached. Let me tell you about it.

After the Open Studios Weekend in September, a number of participants met twice to discuss how and where and when we proceeded from there. The first thing we all agreed on was to again start a proper annual open studios event here in Cyprus.

The priority was to create a website for the new-born Cyprus Open Studios – this website will launch on 2 January 2016 – I (Maria) am still working on the finer points.

• The name is www.cyprusopenstudios.com – Cyprus Open Studios – COS for short. At present the site only shows an “Under Construction” sign.
• We have a dedicated email address : info@cyprusopenstudios.com
• The purpose of the website will be to promote the annual event which, at the time of writing, is scheduled for the first four weekends of October 2016. The event date may change to May for future years, as according to Nora (see below) that is when tourists flood the island. It is also the month in which Cyprus shows off her natural floral collection and the weather is just perfect.
• This website will feature information about all participants, with 4 images of their work in a downloadable Guide. The printed Guide will feature ONE image of each artist’s work
• There is a facility to Request a Registration Form online – it is envisaged to create a proper online registration form as soon as this can be achieved – on a learning curve! If anyone can provide guidance, it would be most helpful.
• Payment of registration fees online using the store – we need to still finalise this
• An online store where we will sell works of art and products created by the participants on their behalf – it must be noted that there will be an additional fee for using this store facility

You will appreciate that this is taking an enormous amount of blood, sweat and tears and in order to launch the site on 2 January 2016 will mean that there will be bugs and gremlins to exterminate. However, with your help, it will soon be the jewel in the crown of the Eastern Mediterranean. But it will not end there.

We are now three partners engaged in the organising of Cyprus Open Studios:

1. Maria Etheridge – founder
2. Marina Emphietzi-Harris – a brilliant professional artist and teacher with a rock-solid track record of promoting and organising events. She is also our official translator into Greek.
3. Nora Hadjisotiriou – who is not a visual artist, but an expert in PR and Marketing. She is based in Nicosia and very active in areas of the arts, specifically music and literature

A logo had to be designed that would make an impact. You will remember that you were all invited to come up with design ideas and the one who got the most votes was the impression left by a wet paint tin lid put forward by Duncan Lamb. He was given the task to create the final artwork that we could use over all media.

Unfortunately, the final product was just not strong enough.

COS 10


I then tried using Christine Steinberg-Mund’s idea but once again it didn’t seem to have the right impact :


Then I tried something else:

COS logo

This was based on Sue Hoar’s design, but it just didn’t want to work. I was told it looked like some button to push…

I worked up the perfect splash, keeping that paint tin lid in mind, consulted Mad4Ad advertising agency, and they got to work. It cost €100 but I’m hoping you will agree that it was worth spending the money. Here is the final logo:


We tried all kinds of different fonts, layouts and colours. I hope you like what we eventually came up with! This is it – it’s done.

At this stage I am not yet able to tell you how much it will cost to participate in the next Cyprus Open Studios event as I’m waiting for quotations from printers for the printed Guide. I also still need to get prices for signage but as most people are now little interested in anything other than Christmas, it’s a bit difficult. As soon as businesses re-open after the Festive Season, I shall get to work on that.

The publicity machine has been started up and we have been able to secure three months’ worth of advertorial from PALS Magazine in both Paphos and Limassol editions in exchange for quoting them as a sponsor. Apollon Connections – http://www.apollonconnections.com/ – will feature the same advertorial, stretching over the first four months of 2016 for €200,00 in their printed magazine. They will also give us extensive online coverage as well as radio interviews.

However, we need to do some fundraising in the shape of advertising and sponsorship. As soon as the website launches on 2 January 2016, you will be able to register to participate, whereupon you will receive the Artists’ Handbook, which will provide you with everything you need to know in order to achieve this. In the meantime, make a list of people and businesses you could approach.

Marina has created a Facebook page for COS as well as a page on LinkedIn. In January we will flood every available media hole with the Press Release, inviting participants and explaining what Open Studios is all about. Apparently there are many people who do not know anything about it. So, it is up to each artist to educate the general public. I will be sending each member of art-en-route a copy of the press release to work with.

I am sincerely hoping you will jump on this COS bandwagon as we will be going places many are only dreaming about! One of the plans in the incubator is to have an artist ‘exchange programme’ whereby we would be encouraging artists from all over the world to come and join in the Open Studios experience and in exchange will have the opportunity to do the same in their countries. Sounds like fun? Nora has many contacts as well as the know-how!

I shall leave you with all this to chew over and at the same time, I would like to share my little Christmas card with you. Stay safe, stay warm and stay healthy!

2015 Xmas card 002
For those of you who are not familiar with the history, you may read up on it here https://saxonsblog.wordpress.com/2015/06/11/more-open-studios/

In a nutshell, www.art-en-route-cyprus.com was created to give an alternative to the old Open Studios CY. This website is, and will remain, a website directory for all artists living and/or working in Cyprus, either permanently or on a part-time basis. It was never the intention to launch exhibitions or events with the site, although we did put together a few.

It must be noted that art-en-route will continue to operate as a website directory for all artists, featuring 8 images of an artist’s work and providing all relevant information on the member’s page. Should you decide to participate in Cyprus Open Studios, your art-en-route membership fee of €15,00 will go towards the registration fee.

If you do not wish to participate in the Open Studios event, you will continue to have the same exposure as before with added impact as more people will visit the website due to the increased publicity.


One thought on “TAKING A BREATH

  1. Maria,
    I write to voice my dismay over your recent logo article stating I was ‘given the task of producing the final product, but it was not strong enough’.
    We did indeed meet and I outlined my idea of drawing the splash and using a known font (I have 50,000 on my computer).
    It was my understanding you wanted the paint tin as was and you were very clear you wanted the lettering to be freehand…never a good idea with a logo.
    I then produced a second freehand (not a final version) which you said you would work on.
    I expected another meet, maybe several to discuss progress, and was very disappointed and insulted to learn through your open letter that you had indeed heeded my advice to draw the splash and use a known font but that you had taken it elsewhere to be finalised.
    I wish you and your project all the best for the future.

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