C-Art Open Studios 2013 Evaluation report
An edenarts project
C-Art 2013 162 artist studios and galleries
17% increase on 2012
26563 studio visits
130% increase on 2012
ÂŁ139,392 in art sales
72% increase on 2012
Overview C-Art Open Studios was launched in 2011 as a platform to promote local artists as part Cumbria’s world class tourism offer, recognising the important contribution artists and craftspeople make to the local economy. The Cumbria wide version grew out of the established biennial ‘Art in Eden’ Trail organised by Eden Arts that ran successfully for over 7 years in the Eden Valley. C-Art has made a huge impact on the Cumbrian artistic community since its inception, successfully galvanising communities and joining up the county. In its frst year alone, 100 artists took part generating over 8000 studio visits and £57,176 in sales, growing to 134 members in 2012 with commercial galleries being included, attracting 11,500 visits and sales of £80,893. The 2013 event grew further, with 162 participants attracting 26,563 studio visits generating £139,392 in sales, a 130% and 72% increase respectively. C-Art creates a unique visitor experience by allowing access into the homes and studios of local people. It allows visitors the chance to explore the hidden side of Cumbria, to connect with local people and communities and get a flavour of the real Cumbria. It gives people a chance to learn a new skill, or reignite an old passion through hands on workshops in a friendly and undaunting environment.
projects, direct people to our website and get great attendance at our events. We are also recognised as advocates for the use of social media and digital technology by Arts Council England and are supporting artists and local businesses to maximise it as a promotional as well as connective tool to customers. Eden Arts is committed to creating excellent, high quality art and culture projects that enhance the cultural offer to both residents and tourists alike. Eden Arts believes that Cumbria should be recognised as a cultural destination as well as an adventure, walking, and heritage destination. We believe we make a large contribution to that aim through the variety of projects and events we create. Eden Arts philosophy is to create an ecology which enables everyone to have access to the arts and culture in what is a very rural place, that brings tourists to the area and helps create an environment where artists can create excellent work and thrive artistically as well as economically.
C-Art is run by Eden Arts, a charitable company whose aim is to provide high quality arts experiences to the local community and beyond. What sets us apart from others in our field is ourembracing of social media. Over the last few years we have developed a large following through social media and demonstrated that it works to help engage people in our “A very inspiring and motivational trip, enhanced by the sincere and welcoming approach of the studios which I was fortunate enough to visit.” Visitor feedback
“Its a really good programme, a great opportunity for artists to meet clients and for budding artists to get inspired. Thank you” Visitor feedback
Budget Overview Participating artists paid £150 to take part as individuals and £130 as a group member. Galleries contributed £200 and basic members £50. £24890 was raised in participant fees, with £7065 raised in sponsorship and in kind support (H&H Reeds Printers, Cumberland and Westmorland Herald and Cumbria Life Magazine) The total cost of the project including staff time, marketing, print and publicity was £42,134. A total of £11,496 was spent on website design and promotional print materials. The advertising spend for 2013 was £6261 which included £2008 on high street banners and road signage. This was a £4498 increase on the advertising spend from 2012, based on feedback from the 2012 event that this needed to be improved. £19,446 was spent on Eden Arts staffing for one full time project coordinator. Eden Arts subsidised the project by £13,497 using Funding for creative projects from Arts Council England and Eden District Council. (see appendix 2 for full Budget)
Sponsors and Media Partners Revenue of £2000 was raised through continued corporate sponsorship from H&H Reeds Printers, with a further 10% reduction on print costs negotiated. CN Group’s Cumbria Life magazine came on board as our Media Partner again for 2013, providing significant editorial coverage to a value of £3370 on top of the £2030 paid by Eden Arts. Further in kind support was received from the Cumberland and Westmorland Herald via 5 weeks of free advertising, at a value of £1,695.
Eden Arts subsidised member fees by £83 per member in 2013
Publicity and Advertising 80% of participants rated the publicity for the project either Good or Excellent, (a 7% decrease from the 2012 event). 1023 column inches of editorial features and advertising were generated in local and regional press, an 58% increase on the 2012 event. The advertising spend increased by 255%.
“Much better, and better advertised this year. Surprised that the studios were so professional with big open spaces and FOOD! Really interesting to spend time talking to the artists. We go every year.” Visitor feedback
Banners were placed in Penrith, Carlisle, Windermere and Cockermouth town centres to advertise the event, at a cost of £2008. This built on the aims from the 2012 event to secure permission for further banner sites across the county.
“I was contacted out of the blue by the Times and Star, just over a week before C-Art started. They conducted a quick over-the-phone interview and came to photograph me producing some prints at the West Cumbria Print Studio (where I exhibited for the trail). They wanted to feature an artist form the Allerdale area and use it to advertise and promote the C-Art trail. It was published Friday 6th Sept. So by taking part in the trail, I was contacted by a local paper and therefore the benefit here is exposure.” Participant feedback 5
Print and promotional materials It was established from 2011 feedback that the C-Art branding was strong and should be kept for the 2012 event. £10419 was spent on the design, layout and print of promotional material for C-Art. This included; • • • •
22,000 Newspapers 10,000 A5 Landscape 96 page catalogues 2,000 C-Art car window stickers 1,500 C-Art Posters
“I have had a fantastic Open Studio with so many compliments they make me blush! I’ve sold a fair number of paintings throughout the two weeks. The publicity has been brilliant and the people who have come have been genuinely interested and delighted. This event has really brought me some interesting contacts amongst the artist community here and also the public.” Participant feedback
£432 was spent on bright yellow plastic correx signs allocated to participants to place near and outside their venues. In addition, gallery members were supplied with small banners to display outside their business premises following feedback from the 2012 event. Participants were also supplied with a pack of posters, window stickers, catalogues and newspapers to distribute in their local areas to compliment the distribution by Eden Arts.
99% of participants rated the catalogue either “good” or “excellent”.
Distribution A total of £2855 was spent on the distribution of newspapers and catalogues across Cumbria and the North West employing the services of Cumbria Express couriers and Cumbria Mailing Services. Following feedback on poor distribution of marketing materials in 2012, we undertook research with all Tourist Information Centres and local visitor attractions on developing a more effective-in house distribution plan, putting together our own mailing list. Following a change in house accounting procedure, previous postage costs attributed to general Eden Arts office core costs have been attributed directly to the C-Art project, which in part accounts for the increase in costs. Large quantities of promotional newspapers were distributed to a 575 strong mailing list of tourism venues, B&B’s, cafe’s, libraries and TIC’s in Cumbria. C-Art participants were asked for their recommendations to add to this list. Anecdotal feedback from Tourist Information Centre’s was that they felt much better supplied this year and preferred being able to contact Eden Arts directly to re-order more.
Website £509 was spent in 2013 on hosting and basic maintenance work on the C-Art website. Web results (1 May - 1 Oct 2013) Total visits - 13,339 Absolute unique visitors - 8501 Page views - 60,104 Average visits per day - 80.5 Average number of pages visited per visit - 4.51 After three years we feel that the time is ripe to re-skin the C-Art website, to meet the needs of the project and to keep the web presence fresh. At the time of writing, we are consulting with a number of design agencies on its redevelopment for 2014.
“The distribution of the catalogue could be improved for example only one was issued to the Brampton tourist office, twice I had to pick up some myself from Carlisle as the first batch went.” Participant feedback
C-Art at Rheged exhibition Eden Arts secured an exhibition opportunity at the Rheged Centre Penrith running for 8 weeks from 13 September 2013 - 10 November 2013 as an additional event to the C-Art programme.
9684 visitors £9748 in artwork sales £10.098 in shop sales
C-Art members were able to submit work for selection by a panel consisting of Richard Smith, Curator at Live at LICA, Beth Hughes, Curator at Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal, and 7 Young Curators aged 16-24 selected as part of a scheme to engage young people in Cumbria with the processes involved in putting together an exhibition. 37 C-Art members were selected for the exhibition, featuring a broad range of works from both applied and fine artists, attracting 9684 visitors. A total of £19846 was generated from artwork and shop sales during the exhibition. Nearly 500 guests attended the private view launch. For the duration of the exhibition there was an additional sculpture trail around the centre, which expanded the reach of the exhibition and directed people up to the gallery space. A series of 4 ‘Pecha Kucha’ artist talks were organised in conjunction with Dr Maggi Toner Edgar at The Rheged Centre, The Brewery Arts Centre, Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery and Florence Mine.
C-Art Pecha Kucha artist talk at Rheged
C-Art Young Curators The C-Art Young Curators scheme was set up to provide a platform for young people to engage with the established artists and designers based in Cumbria. It was funded as part of wider project for 2014 called ‘Young C-Art’ through Cumbria County Councils Cultural Investment programme. 7 young people aged 16-24 were selected through an application and interview process, drawing interest from schools, colleges and returning graduates from across Cumbria. The group visited the Harris Museum and Art Gallery in Preston in July to explore behind the scenes to see how artworks are stored and looked after and how a museum collection is developed. They met with curators Lindsey McCormick and Caroline Alexander to develop an
“My experience with the C-Art young curators has been fantastic, and has greatly contributed to my set of skills, and my knowledge of what goes into curating and putting together an exhibition. As an artist this is very interesting to me, I have enjoyed working with the C-Art team, it has also been interesting to work with people who work within the profession I am hoping to go into, and I believe the experience will contribute to my future career.” Jess Robinson, C-Art Young Curator
C-Art Young Curators installing the C-Art at Rheged exhibition
understanding of how an exhibition is put together, how different artworks are cared for and the role of a curator in a museum. The Young Curators then spent a day with Richard Smith, Curator at Lancaster University and Beth Hughes (Abbot Hall) selecting the work for the exhibition, discussing their opinions on the work and working as a team to decide on the best selection for the exhibition. The Young Curators were also heavily involved in the installation of the exhibition, with several interviewed by the local press on the launch night that drew nearly 500 guests.
‘C-Art has taught me so much about being a curator, it’s given me opportunities for more experience in exhibitions, and helped me to realise that I would like to work in the same field in the future. I particularly loved learning about the essential storage conditions for artworks, both traditional and contemporary. It was something I had never thought about before - from the lighting to the temperature, it’s almost an art in itself.’ Tavia Davies, C-Art Young Curator
“Lovely items, friendly people, and discovered a great new café (Orton, as recommended in the catalogue) to boot. Great fun tracking things down. Excellent quality things to buy at all price ranges - and a couple of artists I’ll definitely look out for as and when funds permit! Thanks for all the organisation and enthusiasm.” Visitor Feedback, Cheadle Hulme, Cheshire
Visitor Feedback 66% of visitors surveyed made a purchase from a studio or gallery during the C-Art fortnight.
98% of visitors surveyed rated C-Art Open Studios either excellent or good.
25% of those visitors surveyed were from outside Cumbria, a 6% increase on the 2012 event, visiting from areas including Yorkshire, North East, and Hertfordshire, Kent and the Midlands.
“Visited C-Art last year and we were so inspired we planned a holiday specifically to coincide with the the exhibition. C-Art is the most wonderful and eclectic collection of artists.’ Visitor Feedback
64% of people surveyed visited one or more of the ‘Artist recommended’ pubs, cafe’s and local attractions during their visit.
“A wider range of cheaper items on sale at every venue would increase sales. This was excellent though and some great talent. Thanks.” Visitor Feedback
64% of visitors were aged 55 or over, an 8% drop from the 2012 event. 25% of visitors were aged 40-54, comparable to 24% in 2012. A significant change in visitor demographics appeared in the 25-39 age bracket with an 6% increase, with a 0.5% increase in the 15-24 age bracket. We believe this to be attributed to our wider marketing campaign and our partnership with the Rheged Centre and involvement of young people for the exhibition. Over a quarter (27%) of visitors attended a studio or gallery due to C-Art roadsigns, making it the highest generator of visits, a 14% increase from 2012. The next highest generator of visits were the catalogues at 21%, followed by the promotional Newspaper at 11%.
26563 studio visits £139,392 in sales
Participant feedback 99% of C-Art participants rated the event either excellent or good. 92% of participants stated that they would take part in C-Art again next year. 39% of participants rated the promotional newspaper either Average or Poor. Whilst we received excellent feedback from venues and TIC’s on the newspaper as a pre-promotional tool, it was interesting to note that some participants felt it was inadequate and poorly received. Following negative feedback on the DL flier format in 2012, the newspaper was developed to provide a more unsual way of providing information and detail in advance of the event, without replacing or duplicating the catalogue. 28% of participants did not email their contacts about C-Art. Emails were sent to participants with suggestions on how they could supplement Eden Arts promotional activity.
“ I was proud to have taken part in an event providing such a great platform for local artists and to gain pride in what you do I’d say is a big benefit!” Participant Feedback
Jenny Abbot in her studio
“Really loved it all. Greatly encouraged by all the positive feedback from visitors. Doors are opening for me which would not have done without this scheme.” Participant Feedback
59% of participants were aged 45-64, with 16% aged 36-44 and 65+ respectively.
C-Art artists in residence at Lowther Castle
Madeleine Warren’s studio, Wasdale, Cumbria
Feedback Summary Conclusions • Employ the services of a Press Agency to handle publicity for the event - possible increase in member fees to fund this. • Make C-Art Open Studios selective. • Change the format of the event to move away from Open Studios towards a festival of commissioned artworks and exhibitions in unusual places across Cumbria. • Develop the promotional newspaper to 12pp working with local writers to provide additional content. • Re-introduce a DL promotional flier. • Undertake a full redesign of C-Art website. • Continue developments in gaining permission for promotional high street banners across the county. (2013 saw banners placed in Carlisle, Penrith, Cockermouth, and Windermere, building on just Penrith in 2012). • Feedback opinion varies widely, the majority of it extremely positive, making it hard to always incorporate and respond to more radical views “The C-Art publicity was excellent and we ourselves mailed 700 of our previous buyers. It seems that the more publicity for C-Art there is, the more general the audience is. However, we didn’t get many tourist visitors either. How to improve our audience? This is a conundrum for us and we haven’t yet got the answer.” Participant feedback
“The branding doesn’t work: after 3 years people still don’t know what C-Art is. It’s too oblique and should be more direct, i.e. the biggest lettering on the signs should be ‘Open Studio’ and C-Art should become See Art. The event is now in it’s third year and should be on the up with a real buzz and everyone talking about it. In my circle of friends, artists, contacts and art lovers the general feeling was: not enough publicity, tired, too long. This matters because when visitors go to a studio they want lots of other people to be there, creating energy and avoiding people feeling uncomfortable if they are there on their own. For what it’s worth my suggestions are: a selection process for participants to get into the event, which then can be used as a marketing tool (hard to get into, the cream of Cumbria, etc), more artist involvement in say the selection and marketing and evaluation (it has the look and feel of an administration run event) and much stronger marketing and use of landscape as part of this.” Participant Feedback
“The event was very well put together, and I felt well supplied with promo materials and support. Visitors were enthusiastic about the event and were visiting other venues too. Two weeks was a good long time for visitors to view the work, but I may need more staff next year! well done everyone involved, C-Art was a great experience this year.” Participant Feedback
Press and advertising activity breakdown Cumberland and Westmorland Herald advertisements – 30th Aug, 6, 13, 20, 27th September Cumberland and Westmorland Herald feature – 29th Dec, 16th Feb, 18th Sept Westmorland Gazette advertisements – 5, 12, 19, 26th September Westmorland Gazette features - 12th Sept North West Evening Mail features – 12th 15th 22nd 29th Aug, 5th 12th Sept Cumbria Life magazine features – August, September and October 2013 Good Lakes Guide 2013 feature Spring Fling 2013 catalogue advert Art Fest North catalogue advert Print Fest guide advert Penrith Ullswater and District Guide 2013 advertisement Living North Magazine features – August & September 2013 Living North ebulletin – August and September Cumbria Tourism E bulletin – July Cumberland News articles – 13th and 20th September The Whitehaven News - 15th, 22nd, 29th August, 5th, 12th September Craft and Design magazine - feature September Ceramic Review magazine feature – September Cumbria Live website homepage advert – August-September Go Lakes website Culture home page advert – August-September Lancashire Life magazine feature – September BBC Radio Cumbria interviews – 3rd May, 8, 18, 24, 26, & 29th September Times and Star article – 6th Sept News and Star article – 30th August