Margaret River Open Studios, an open invitation from the region’s artists to drop into their work places, returns this April.

The notion is simple: for 16 days, artists from Busselton to Augusta will open their studios to the public. Some will give talks. A handful will offer workshops. Others simply want to share the creative energy of their spaces.

The free event is in its sixth year and the 2019 line-up is a cracker. In addition to 19 first-time participants, the program features more than 100 returning sculptors, ceramicists, painters, printmakers, jewelers, furniture-makers and other artists. Ceramicist Sally May Mills is thrilled about being involved.

“It’ is a joy to be able to share my studio space and explain the process that transforms a block of clay into a finished pot,” she says. “There is an initial feeling of vulnerability, but I value the direct connection with visitors, hearing their feedback over a cup of chai and answering their questions about my home and art practice.”

Mills, like many of her peers, values the region’s gentle pace of life and natural abundance.

“There’s is a variety of natural landscapes, [an] extensive coastline and vast spaces to be creative, reflective and inspired,” she says.

Other participating artists include local stars Lauren Wilhelm, Christian Fletcher and Leon Pericles. Painter Heidi Mullender [https://www.instagram.com/heidiemmafine_art/] is hosting a “learn to paint” workshop in her Dunsborough studio. Gerry Reilly, meanwhile, is slated to talk all things glass-blowing in his bauble-making class. New recruits include [Tamika Hogan] (https://www.instagram.com/tamika.hogan/), Angus Watkins and Amelia Jajko].

Event details, artist biographies and maps to the various studios are available in the free Open Studio guidebook. The guidebook is available in Perth at Jackson’s Drawing Supplies shops as well asand at regional visitors centres in the south-west.

Margaret River Open Studios runs from April 27 April to May 12. It’s is a free event and bookings are not required.

www.mrropenstudios.com