THE Island is set to turn into a huge exhibition space in the next two weeks as IW Open Studios returns for its 13th year.

Artists and sculptors from across the Wight will be opening the doors to let the public in, from July 12 to 22

Visitors have the opportunity to meet the 140-plus artists, see their work and find out more about the techniques they use and the passions which inspire them.

Open Studios is a free event and offers the chance to view and purchase painting, sculpture, print-making, photography, textiles, jewellery and ceremics.

For artists, Open Studios is a unique opportunity to manage their own event, exhibit work and demonstrate their working processes.

One stalwart of the scheme is Bembridge painter Charlotte Hodge Thomas.

Charlotte told the County Press: "I have taken part in the since its inception but this year is a bit special for me as, for the first time, I will be holding my Open Studio over two consecutive weekends (instead of just one) so there will be plenty more opportunity for people to visit.

"I have new works for people to view."

Her studio is at 24 Walls Road, Bembridge and will be open 10am - 5pm daily on Friday, July 12, (plus additional open evening/wine reception, 6pm - 8.30pm. All welcome), July 13, 14, 15, 20 and 21.

If people wish to do an arts trail, they can pick up a free copy of the Open Studios Artists Yearbook, dotted around in libraries, newsagents, local shops, etc, or visit to see who's taking part.

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