Your feature on Open Studio schemes (ArtsProfessional issue 17, January 14) rang a few warning bells with me.
I think open studios are a great idea and would welcome more of them. But nowhere in any of your articles was there any mention of the need to select work in order to maintain quality.
I accept that many Open Studios show consistently professional work, and are equally professional in their publicity material, but there are signs that the expansion of the concept may be bringing a watering-down of quality. Allowing this to happen is not in the best interests of either public or artists, including artists whose work might be rejected initially.
As a gallery owner for the last 18 years I am well aware of the difficulties involved in selecting (and of how unpopular the selectors will be!) but to attract the non-gallery-goer and then show them poor work is counter-productive. Repeat visits will certainly be deterred, especially as studio visits often involve travelling considerable distances, and potential customers may well be alienated for good.