Here you’ll find answers to the questions asked most often by people applying to be members of North East Open Studios.

1. What are the dates for NEOS 2023?

The dates for 2023 are 9th – 17th September 2023.

2. Am I eligible to join NEOS?

Membership of North East Open Studios (NEOS) is open to artists, makers and craftspeople whose main residence and practice is within the North East of Scotland geographic area shown below and defined as north of a line drawn from Montrose to Inverness.

eligible area for NEOS

3. Can I join if I live outside the area?

Artists outwith the area cannot participate in NEOS unless they are sponsored by another NEOS member and they can demonstrate a connection with the NEOS area. This form must be completed and submitted for approval by the NEOS committee. (Save it to your computer where it can be filled in interactively, or printed out, scanned and saved for returning by email. Details are on the form.) Please note there is an earlier closing date for these applications.

4. How does sign-up work?

This website is open for sign-up from the 1st to 31st March each year. Please note if you are an out-of-area applicant then both your online application and application form needs to be completed by 14th March. (Unfortunately, due to printing and website deadlines, no entries can be accepted outwith these dates.)
Conditions of entry are available here.

5. What are the fees?

An entry fee must be paid to become a NEOS member and join the annual event; the Membership Fees page provides details. Entry fees must be paid in full within the sign-up period. Refunds: Please see the FAQ no’17 for full details.

6. Where can I exhibit?

The most interesting place for visitors is your own studio or workspace. If that is not an option, NEOS members can share a space or combine into a single venue for the Open Studio event. If you have problems finding somewhere suitable, the NEOS committee can help to connect artists with studio spaces. However, they cannot be held responsibile for a member’s studio or venue.

7. Do I have to be open during the whole event?

The NEOS event runs for 9 days in September. The number of days you open your doors is entirely your choice but you must be open for at least 2 days during that time. Your opening dates and times will be published in the book and on the website; you must make every effort to be present in your studio or venue at those times.

8. Can commercial galleries join NEOS?

Unfortunately commercial Galleries cannot join NEOS – but we understand that some people cannot exhibit in their own studios therefore Galleries can host and promote individual NEOS artists, makers and craftspeople who have paid their appropriate NEOS membership fees and live within the NEOS area.

9. How is my uploaded image going to be used?

When a participant supplies an image for entry into the NEOS Book, they are agreeing to it being used in any NEOS publicity.

10. I’m having trouble applying on the website, what do I do?

Our website should work on a mobile phone, but we advise that you apply on a computer screen if you can. If you are experiencing problems or have any concerns, you can contact our co-ordinator who will endeavour to get back to you within 48 hours.

11. How will I know my application has been accepted?

After sign-up closes, an email will be sent to let you know if your application has been succesful. After your entry fee has been paid, you will recieve a payment receipt. It can take 3-5 days to verify payment. We appreciate enthusiastic participants but please be patient, our volunteer committee will do our very best to ensure your application goes through. You will be notified if/when we have reached our 300 member limit.

12. What does my commitment being part of North East Open Studios involve?
  • All members will be subject to the NEOS Constitution on joining and will accept the regulations and codes of conduct that NEOS has adopted.
  • Members agree to open their studios or venues to the public on the published dates and times, according to commonly accepted rules.
  • All work exhibited during NEOS must be of an original design or pattern and created by the NEOS member from concept to final work. No exhibited items may be sourced from third parties.
  • Members are responsible for their online NEOS application content and must ensure all details are correct at the time of submission. No further amendments can be made after online acceptance. NEOS cannot take responsibility for the content of a member’s online statement.
  • Members must be present in their studio space or hired venue to speak to visitors about their work during the published Open Studio hours
  • Members must help with distribution of publicity material; primarily their allocation of the annual NEOS Book (every member is assigned several copies to distribute to the public).
  • Members are expected to promote their own studio or venue through their contacts and networks. Reliance must not be placed solely on NEOS central marketing.
  • Members are responsible for the management of and public access to their studio space or hired venue.
  • Members must be realistic about their opening times so they are able to be present. The public will expect the studios and venues to be accessible at the times advertised and published in the NEOS Book.
  • An important and integral aspect of NEOS is the distribution of the NEOS Book. Members would be failing each other if they don’t complete the distribution of the printed books issued to each studio or Constituted Group. We rely on each member having local knowledge of their area as part of their self-promotion for their studio during NEOS. Circulation locally will help the event become more conspicuous throughout the North East of Scotland. (Books hiding in boxes are not promoting the event!)
  • Members should be fully aware that NEOS cannot take responsibility for their studio or venue, their local publicity or the content of their online statements.
  • Members are responsible for their own Public Liability Insurance. This is included in the Membership Fee of some Artists Organisations. A good place to start is a-n The Artists Information Company.
13. Where can I complain about something pertaining to NEOS?

We hope you won’t have to, but any complaints received by NE Open Studios will be addressed within the scope of NE Open Studio objectives and Constitution. Please use this contact form and title your message: To the VOLUNTEER committee.

14. Can directories be distributed earlier than August?

We want to create a buzz before the event and releasing the directories six weeks before this is the optimum timing. The timeline from the closing date for applications to collecting the printed brochures from the printers is very tight as it is.

15. How do I get the NEOS logo?

You’ll be able to access all our media on the members page, accessed through the red, my account button at the top-right of every page on this site once your membership fees have been processed. (The page is available to members only.)

16. How do I publicise my studio locally?

NEOS is not a promotional company, we are a volunteer group of artists and makers from the area; as members of NEOS and it’s up to us as individuals to promote NEOS. We believe – and rely on – local publicity being carried out by participants in their local area. In conjunction with the website and The Book, it’s our main method of promotion.

Try contacting a local newspaper with an interesting angle on your event. Newspapers are more likely to do a story if it has a local angle. As a local, members would know the best B&Bs, hotels, surgeries, vets, shops, dentists etc to offer copies of The Book or to place a poster. Friends and family on Facebook would no doubt be delighted to ‘share and like’ a series of posts.

We are @NorthEastOpenStudios on Facebook and @neopenstudios on Instagram. Join in! NEOS needs the advocacy and promotion from every participant if we are to become embedded in the public’s mind as one of the best ways to experience art and craft in the North East of Scotland. Don’t forget, NEOS isn’t just in September; The Book and website ensure it is one of Scotland’s most comprehensive and professional arts listings.

17. What happens if I want to withdraw my entry to NEOS?

If you would like to withdraw your NEOS Entry before the book has been sent to print, you will be refunded your entry fee minus a £30 admin fee. If you withdraw your NEOS Entry after the book has gone to print, you will not be eligible for a refund and your entry will still be included in the Book Publication.