A COTSWOLD businesswoman is on a mission to raise the profile of artists in the area and has been drawing in the crowds events thanks to a top award.
Tessa Webb organises the Cotswold Open Studios event, held once every two years to showcase artists of all types in the district.
The 51-year-old marketing manager was celebrated at the recent Cirencester Business Awards.
She was presented with the PR and Marketing Campaign of the Year accolade at a ceremony and three course dinner at the Royal Agricultural University. It is the second time she has been successful at the awards.
“I was really shocked to win again,” said Tessa, who lives in Siddington. “None of the award categories were really relevant this year for me so I entered the PR one again. We were just bowled over when we heard.”
Tessa manages Cotswold Open Studios, which started in 2009, with her husband Richard Kenton Webb as well as Vanessa Arbuthnott and Chris Smith.
The event, held across one weekend in the summer, allows people to travel on a 1950’s vintage bus and visit the private studios of local artists. Visitors can enjoy the Cotswold countryside while en route to visit the artist or craftsman, enjoy glasses of wine and cream teas, and can also choose to purchase a piece of artwork.
“We were really aware of all the artists in the area and wanted to raise their profile,” said Tessa.
“My husband is an artist and over the years I have seen him try to make a living and get his name out there.
“We think we had around 4,000 visitors to the Open Studios in 2013 and have been drawing people in from all over the country.”
Tessa admitted that a great deal of the Studio’s success came from winning the award the first time and she hopes it has a similar affect for next year.
“The award really helps us raise the profile of the event each time. It has taken four years to have it established and recognised in the area and this is thanks to the award.”
Anyone wishing to get involved in any way with the Open Studios 2015 can email firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch with Tessa.