Get ready for a splash of art at Spring Fling

A family friendly event aimed at bringing out creative talent of young visitors is set to take place.

Spring Fling is Scotland’s premier visual art and contemporary craft open studios event. Covering all Dumfries and Galloway and south west Scotland and also a much-loved feature of the Scotland’s cultural calendar, it is the flagship annual event of Upland CIC.

It will be open from 25 to 27 May.

Upland CIC (Community Interest Company) supports artists and makers based in, and with connections to, the region.  It runs the annual Spring Fling contemporary visual art and craft open studios weekend in Dumfries and Galloway. It will work closely with other arts bodies in the region to further-strengthen the sector. Upland is based at Gracefield Arts Centre in Dumfries.

It is a chance to meet painters, original printmakers, ceramicists, jewellers and glassmakers, wood and metal workers, photographers in the cottages, farms, galleries, mills, converted churches and other places that they work and live.

More than a dozen of the 94 participants are offering special activities for the young. Professional artists and craft makers are also running five workshops, either side of the main weekend, where children can do everything from lantern-making and drawing to creating concertina books and throwing pencil holder pots.

One of the fun things for children to do is take part in the hunt to find giant pencils and crayons in the garden of illustrator Val Macadam near Kirkbean.

Val said: ‘I love welcoming younger visitors to my studio and they really enjoy being outside and taking up the challenge of searching for the supersize versions of my pencils and crayons – and they really are big – in fact they are taller than me.’

The artist is well-known for her quirky and humorous pictures that are inspired by country life. She illustrated short stories on Jackie and Blue Jeans magazines and also drew the Just Janey cartoon strip in Catch. She also drew some of the pictures in Shout that were used to illustrate young readers’ letters in the Embarrassing Moments column.

On the lead up to the Spring Fling, there is the SF Pop-UP at The Oven on Dumfries High Street. It is open till the 13 April 2019 from Monday to Saturday, 10am to 4pm, and Sunday, noon to 4pm.

Visitors can see artists and makers at work, book a kids’ workshop, buy art and craft or pick up a brochure and start plan where to visit during the main weekend.

Joanna Macaulay, Events and exhibitions manager for Upland, which runs Spring Fling, said: ‘The bank holiday period at the end of May is a special chance for families to spend time together – going on outings or taking a short break. Spring Fling studios make an ideal destination as many are family friendly and there are lots with fun and creative activities for younger visitors.

‘This year we are providing even more for children and families with a series of workshops, run by superb artists and makers, where they can learn new skills and go home with a piece of art and craft they have made themselves.’

Full details of the workshops and studio activities are detailed in the brochure or can be seen online at