Spring Fling 2021 will offer new and different ways to showcase some of the best contemporary visual arts and craft from Dumfries and Galloway.

Organisers, Upland CIC, are delighted to announce plans for this year’s event which will be a vibrant mix of digital and some physical activities in place of the usual open studios weekend.

This will hopefully include a pop-up shop and walks with artists plus online exhibitions, workshops, demonstrations, live talks and studio tours. 

Upland also hopes that this year’s Spring Fling can be extended beyond the traditional three-day late spring bank holiday weekend. It will begin on 29 May but could run right through to 6 June – watch the website for updates. 

The around 80 artists and makers selected for the disrupted 2020 open studios weekend will be offered the chance to take part in the 2021 event. Applications open on Friday, 12 February for others who would like to take part.

Joanna Macaulay, Assistant Director for Upland which runs Spring Fling, said: “The spirit of Spring Fling is alive and well, and even though we can’t hold our traditional open studios weekend we hope to provide all sorts of fun and creative ways to let people engage with the region and its arts.

“We know that people are as eager as ever to see painting, printmaking, jewellery, ceramics, textiles and other arts and crafts – and to engage with the makers and artists, and to learn new skills for themselves.

“Our idea is to offer a whole variety of digital and safe physical events for people to choose between. So although the format will be different, Spring Fling will continue to be a joyous celebration of the rich variety of artistic talent that exists across Dumfries and Galloway.”

Spring Fling is pleased to once again have the support from Dumfries and Galloway Council as one of the region’s Signature Events.

Creative Scotland has also provided funding towards digital accessibility and to commission small-scale performance or installation.

Thanks to support from EventScotland, through the Scotland’s Events Recovery, Upland will be able to build on its success in taking Spring Fling online in 2020.

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “Events play an important role in our communities as they sustain livelihoods and bring social and economic change. EventScotland is delighted to be supporting Spring Fling through Scotland’s Events Recovery Fund to build on the success of their online event in 2020.

“By embracing the hybrid format for this year’s event, Spring Fling continues to provide a way for its audience and artists to connect in a fun and safe way.”

Artists and makers selected for Spring Fling will be offered two ways to participate in order to make it as inclusive as possible.

This will mean they can choose to participate online only, or be part of the physical activities and events as well.

The full programme will be published in coming weeks.


Notes for editors 

Spring Fling

  • Spring Fling made its name a Scotland’s premier visual art and contemporary craft open studios event covering all Dumfries and Galloway, South West Scotland. It is the flagship annual event of Upland CIC.
  • Between 2003 and 2018 Spring Fling has attracted over 100,000 visitors who have made almost 300,000 studio visits. 
  • Over 16 years £1.9 million of art and craft has been bought in studios.
  • The event has brought over £8.5 million to the local economy.
  • For further details visit www.spring-fling.co.uk or contact info@spring-fling.co.uk

About Upland

Upland CIC (Community Interest Company) supports artists and makers based in, and with connections to, the region. It delivers, events, training, networking, support and opportunities as part of a year-round programme to benefit the region, its artists, communities and economy. Upland CIC 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 and exists to:

  • produce and deliver festivals, events, and experimental projects of the highest quality
  • nurture an environment where artistic excellence thrives and grows
  • inspire and educate a wide range of audiences, customers and clients to understand, celebrate, be actively engaged in and supportive of visual art and craft practice
  • raise the profile of visual artists and makers locally, nationally and internationally fulfilling a crucial role in the culture and tourism of Dumfries and Galloway
  • build strategic partnerships at regional, national and international level
  • maintain a financially sound and adaptively resilient organisation
  • use, and encourage the use of, innovative and emerging digital technology
  • work to the benefit the local economy and the sustainability of local communities.

Its funders are Creative Scotland, D&G Council, The Holywood Trust, The William Grant Foundation, The Heritage Lottery Fund, ASWT, Barfill. 

About EventScotland  

  • EventScotland is working to make Scotland the perfect stage for events. By developing an exciting portfolio of sporting and cultural events EventScotland is helping to raise Scotland’s international profile and boost the economy by attracting more visitors. For further information about EventScotland, its funding programmes and latest event news visit www.EventScotland.org. Follow EventScotland on Twitter @EventScotNews
  • EventScotland is a team within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, the national tourism organisation which markets Scotland as a tourism destination across the world, gives support to the tourism industry and brings sustainable tourism growth to Scotland. For more information about VisitScotland see www.visitscotland.org or for consumer information on Scotland as a visitor destination see www.visitscotland.com

About Creative Scotland

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here.  We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life.  We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery. For further information about Creative Scotland please visit www.creativescotland.com.  Follow us @creativescots and www.facebook.com/CreativeScotland.

Upland is very happy to help journalists. Contact us and we can set up interviews, provide pictures and photo opportunities. In some circumstances we can offer ready-written copy. For media information contact Matthew Shelley on 07786 704299 or at Mjhshelley@hotmail.co.uk or call Upland on 01387 213 218.