SIX years later and farOpen artists have returned to The George in Newnham-on-Severn to put on a stunning Autumn Art Exhibition showcasing 49 local artists in support of this recently unveiled community hub, writes farOpen’s Charlotte Keating.

On Friday (September 22), the farOpen volunteer hanging team Gina Nell, Uschi Arens Price, Charlotte Keating, Sarah Delahoy and Lisa Dear spent 7 hours curating, hanging and displaying an incredible mix of artwork submitted by its members in preparation to welcome visitors to The George’s upstairs Art Gallery over the opening weekend.

There is a diverse range of artwork for sale including original paintings, prints, pottery, glass, textiles, cards, knitted accessories, felted animals, driftwood art, jewellery, home furnishings and small gifts. Prices range from £3 upwards with plenty to suit a variety of tastes and price points with artwork from new to internationally renowned artists, all based locally.

The event got off to a fantastic start with over 200 visitors over Saturday & Sunday, selling a variety of affordable gifts and cards as well as some much higher value artworks and jewellery. Uschi Arens Price, Chair of farOpen, who was overseeing the gallery on Saturday shared that “it was a pleasure stewarding. People were so delighted about – and surprised by - how attractive the exhibition was” further saying that “the George café staff were all grinning ear to ear, having had a fabulously busy day on account of the visitors flocking to the exhibition for which they thanked us for”.  

The Autumn Exhibition will be open 11am – 4pm Weds – Sun until end of Oct 8th, closed Monday & Tuesday.

Back in 2017, farOpen had its first group show at the George representing 30 artists with 32 artists opening their studios for the very first Open Studios Art Trail.

Fast forward six years and farOpen Committee say “We were excited when we heard about the completion of the sympathetic restoration and reinvention of The George as a community hub which is offering bright spacious rooms for exhibitions and workshops above their café. It seemed like the perfect venue for hosting the farOpen Autumn Show 2023, coming full circle since our inception and first exhibition there in 2017… and we’ve not been disappointed! It’s a beautiful, light filled space and an honour to be able to support the community of Newnham and Forest of Dean Artists in this way”

Community Hub Manager, James Hewitt commented on Facebook with “WOW!! We knew it would be good to host Forest & River Artists but this is next level. Our gallery is a great backdrop for all this amazing creativity. It’s only day 2 and we’ve already had plenty of visitors. Great for our lovely building to be so full of life, community and creativity, which is exactly what it’s here for”

farOpen - short for Forest and Rivers (Artists) Open Studios - are a volunteer, artist led organisation who host the popular Open Studios Art Trail each July across the region of the Forest of Dean and along the Severn & Wye Rivers.

Since being established in 2017, the number of artists it represents has grown phenomenally and with it, farOpen’s approach to supporting artists in the community. This year the organisation represents 155 members with 73 studios having welcomed visitors on the Art Trail in July with additional Group Exhibitions being held in Summer, Spring and Autumn alternating between local venues like The George, Dean Heritage Centre and The new Picture House Gallery in Cinderford.

The growth in membership is largely attributed to farOpen’s more holistic approach evolving to focus on building a thriving artist community -  increasing year round visibility & awareness of its members’ artwork, events and workshops culminating in the annual Art Trail. Through its successful marketing campaigns and exhibitions such as this, farOpen’s mission to attract and generate sales have helped this local, creative sector flourish.  Members have also benefited from an online peer group for artists to support each other with business advice or moral support complemented by monthly coffee mornings – a super valuable support network for a demographic who can often feel isolated working in solitude across the district.

This exhibition is a must-visit whether you’re looking for some art to refresh your home with, searching for gifts for birthdays and Christmas or simply wish to enjoy a day out browsing art and enjoying the delicious meals the café has on offer.

“It looks amazing, what a beautiful job the hanging team have done, such skill in making it flow so well with 49 artists in there!!” - Elaine Fowke.

“A lovely visit today with my son Matt who hadn’t appreciated art until today!! It opened his eyes. It was overwhelming to see the amazing logistics that the team went through to hang and display - an absolutely amazing experience” - Paula Smith.

“Very impressed with the exhibition. All beautifully presented in the lovely rooms.” - Sue Hilton.

“Popped in and thought the exhibition looked fantastic, great curation, no easy feat with so many artists and beautiful work” - Sharon Harvey.

“It looks incredible!! Such fantastic talent” - Lisa Coles.

The exhibtion is open  11am – 4pm on Wednesdays – Sundays (closed Monday & Tuesday) until October 8.

More information is available at