About Us

Northants & Rutland Open Studios (NROS) is an artist network covering the counties of Northamptonshire and Rutland.

We run pop-up exhibitions and events, including an annual September Festival where artists and makers open their studios to the public, allowing visitors to explore their creative spaces, view their artwork, and learn about their artistic processes.

Learn More About Us

Northants & Rutland Open Studios fosters a diverse and vibrant artistic community within Northamptonshire, Rutland and just over their borders. We believe that art opportunities should be accessible to all, irrespective of age, skill level, or medium preference. Our platform welcomes a rich tapestry of artists, patrons, and art enthusiasts, highlighting the breadth of creativity that exist within our community.

Our central mission is twofold:

  • Empowering Artists: We cultivate a supportive network for artists, offering opportunities for growth, collaboration, and exposure. Whether through facilitating exhibition opportunities throughout the year or opening channels to connect with venues, collectors, and buyers, we provide the platform for artists to flourish.
  • * Engaging Communities: We work hard to make art accessible, encouraging a broad spectrum of venues to host artistic endeavours. From historic churches to contemporary commercial galleries, we bring art into the heart of the community.

Our flagship event is the Northants & Rutland Open Studios Visual Arts Festival, renowned as the largest of its kind across both counties. Held every September, this festival turns the spotlight onto the artists and their creative process. Artists open the doors to their studios, welcoming the public into their creative sanctuaries. Here, visitors gain an unprecedented view into the inner workings of a pottery studio, the intricacies of stone carving, or the techniques employed in traditional crafts.

Complementing the studio tours, the festival also incorporates a Central Exhibition, showcasing a selection of each participating artist's work. Acting as a tangible brochure, this exhibition allows visitors to plan their studio visits based on their artistic interests.

To ensure broad reach and engagement, we distribute 20,000 festival brochures across the region. These brochures, coupled with various pop-up exhibitions throughout September, serve to amplify the visibility of participating artists.

As a self-funded organisation, we rely on the generosity of venues and commercial sponsors within Northamptonshire and Rutland. The continued support empowers us to achieve our mission, making art accessible, promoting local artists, and nurturing an artistic community that thrives on diversity and mutual support.

Join us on this journey of artistic exploration and discover the various ways in which art continues to shape our lives and communities.

Welcome to Northants & Rutland Open Studios, where art comes to life.

  • January

    Applications close for the Spring Open

  • February

    Spring Open Exhibition at Lamport (for members and non-members).
    Applications open for September and Pop up Venues announced

  • End of April

    Entry Deadline for September’s Festival

  • September

    Northants & Rutland Open Studios Festival

  • December

    Applications Open for the Spring Open exhibition at Lamport

A note from Katie

Welcome to our little corner of the creative universe! 🎨 This is more than just a group; it's a friendly network of art enthusiasts who are all about having a good time while making and sharing art. Consider us your personal cheerleading squad, here to support you on your creative journey.  Whether it's your first exhibition or you're still figuring out what a mirror plate is (hey, some people are still in the dark!), or if you're convinced you're the next Picasso — it doesn't matter. No judgments here! We're all in different places on our artistic paths, and that's what makes this group awesome. Everyone is welcome, and we're just here to have a good time, learn, and watch each other's skills and practices grow. So, enjoy being a member in whatever way feels right for you! 🌟

A bit about me...
I've been immersed in the world of arts and heritage for 17 years, holding degrees in Fine Art & Art History and a Masters in Art Gallery Management and Curation. For the past 14 years, I've been curating at both National and Regional Art Galleries. Right now, I work full time as the Senior Programming and Exhibitions Officer at Rugby Art Gallery and Museum.

In my free time (what little there is!), I'm passionate about running Northants & Rutland Open Studios (NROS). I brought NOS back in 2020 as a way of giving back to my home county. It's been amazing to see the sense of community around it grow over the past three years. My motivation stems from a belief that not enough was being done for the Arts in Northamptonshire. Opportunities for local artists are scarce, and often the bigger museums and galleries overlook them in favour of what they think will attract more visitors. As an artist getting your work out there can be a real challenge, especially when exhibiting opportunities come with a hefty price tag. It's not always affordable for every artist, and that's a real shame. I've seen firsthand how these costs can limit participation. So, one of the things that really drives me is the idea that everyone should have a shot at showcasing their work, regardless of their budget, which is why we have different ways of participation in the festival. It's about breaking down those barriers and making the art scene more accessible for all.

Every September, we strive to enhance the festival, sending a message loud and clear – local art for local people can rival, if not surpass, the allure of exhibitions in major cities. Why bother trekking to London when you can travel a short distance and step into a beautiful pottery or painting studio right in your neighbourhood? It's about celebrating the talent in our community and showing that there's something special right here at home.
2024 will bring new opportunities and a whole new community as we welcome Rutland to our Festival area and we rebrand as Northants & Rutland Open Studios.

Fun stuff about me... 
Those that do know me, know that, I LOVE DOGS - if there is a studio with a dog in, I'm there! I have a 6 year old Sprocker Spaniel called Roo and she is my best mate! 

Sadly, I don't produce artwork these days as I don't have much spare time, back in the day I trained as a welder, painter and I've dabbled in print, ceramics and metal work. Recently, I have started pottery classes and I ❤️ the Great Pottery Throwdown, but nothing coming out of the kiln will be exhibited any time soon! Favourite food is Pizza 🍕 and I love CAKE! Chocolate specifically! 

I look forward to seeing you throughout your journey with us.

your chief 🐱 herder
Director & Festival Organiser