Below you’ll find answers to the questions we get asked the most about from people applying to be a member North East Open Studios.

1. What are the dates for NEOS 2020?

The dates for 2020 are 12th – 20th September 2020.

2. Am I eligible to join NEOS 2020?

Membership of North East Open Studios (NEOS) is open to artists, makers and craft persons, whose main residence & 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 must be able to demonstrate a connection with the NE area. The sponsored application must be approved by NE Open Studios Committee by completing and submitting this form(Save this to your computer where it can be filled in interactively, or printed out, scanned and saved for returning in an 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 will be open for sign-up from the 1st to 31st March 2020. 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?

Details of the membership fees can be found on this page. NEOS members must pay an entry fee to partake in the annual event. Entry fees must be paid in full within the signup period.

6. Where can I exhibit?

The most interesting place for visitors is in your own studio/workspace. But if that is not an option NEOS members can share or combine into a single space or venue for an Open Studio Event. We can offer help to connect artists with studio spaces if you have problems finding somewhere suitable. However, NEOS cannot take responsibility for a members’ studio or venue.

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

NEOS is open to the public for 10 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 this time. Your opening dates and times will be published in the annual printed book and on the website, and you must make every effort to be present in your studio or equivalent during your published times.

8. Can commercial galleries join NEOS?

Galleries and any other commercial organisations wishing to contribute to NEOS are welcome to take out an advert in the Open Studios Book however, NEOS cannot accept any adverts from makers or organisations whose exhibition/event conflicts with our Open Studio dates. Galleries can host and promote individual Open Studio artists, makers and craft persons who have paid their appropriate NEOS membership fees and live within the NEOS area. Advertisers can contact the treasurer using the contact form for more details.

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

When a participant supplies an image to NEOS for entry into the book they are agreeing to this 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, but we advise that you apply on a computer screen if you can. If you are experiencing problems or have any concerns you can drop an email to our co-ordinator. We will endeavor 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 out confirming 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 be deemed to accept those regulations and codes of conduct that NE Open Studios has adopted.
  • Members agree to open their workplaces/venues during the same dates and times to the public, according to commonly accepted rules.
  • All work exhibited during NEOS must be of original design/pattern and created by the NEOS member from concept to final work. No exhibited items must be sourced from third parties.
  • Members must be responsible for their online Open Studio application content to 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 written on-line statement.
  • Members must be present in their studio, chosen 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 Open Studio Book (every member is allocated a number of copies to distribute to the public)
  • Members are expected to promote their own studio, chosen space or hired venue through their own contacts and networks. Reliance must not be placed solely on Open Studios central marketing.
  • Members must be responsible for the management and public access to their chosen space or hired venue.
  • Members must be realistic on opening times so the named Artist is present. The public will expect an Open Studio event to be accessible at the times advertised and published in the Open Studio Book.
  • An important and integral aspect of the NE Open Studios is the distribution of the Open Studio Book. Members would be failing their fellow collaborators 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-promote for their own studio during NEOS. Circulation locally will help the event become more conspicuous throughout the North East of Scotland. ie 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: Scottish Artists Union or 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, @neopenstudios on Instagram and use the Twitter handle @NEOS_uk. 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.