ARTISTS from across the Mearns will be throwing open the doors to their studios as part of a popular series of free exhibitions.
The fifth North East Open Studios (NEOS) event runs from September 13 to 22 and local painters, photographer and potters and textile makers will be well represented.
Around 30 artists from the Mearns will be showcasing their work under the NEOS banner.
Jacky Niven, NEOS representative for south Aberdeenshire, said the art scene locally was very active.
"This is a great opportunity for residents to see the talent there is on the doorstep and for visitors to get a feel for what's going on in the area," she said.
"Artists are often quite isolated so this is a good way of bringing them together."
The exhibitions running through NEOS are held at artists' homes or studios and all are opened up for free.
"Many artists find they sell a good deal of their work through the event but that's not really what it's about," added Ms Niven.
"It is great for participants to show their work but visitors need not feel obliged to purchase anything - NEOS is more about promoting interest and showcasing talent.
"It allows artists to network and make the contacts needed to start displaying their work elsewhere."
She said the 2007 NEOS event had been a big success with 28,000 visitors flocking to exhibitions across Aberdeenshire, boosting tourism in the region.
This year organisers hope to encourage budding young artists as well as those exhibiting their work.
They have organised a children's competition, called 'What's My Favourite View', which will encourage youngsters to put their creative talents into practise to capture a local landscape or image.
The competition will run at Stonehaven Library and painting materials will be presented to the winners of each age category.
A display will again be on show at McHardy's butchers shop from September where visitors will be invited to enter a prize draw to win a voucher for work by a participating artist or maker.
For more information on the event and a comprehensive list of all of those taking part look out for the NEOS catalogue, distributed to businesses and community facilities throughout the area, or visit

Mearns Leader 08/08
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