It is a complete privilege to have been asked to be the President of Open Studios. I have long admired this wonderful organisation and how it connects people with the creative world near to where they live.

Johannes von Stumm is one of my local heroes and will be a very hard act to follow. I look forward to meeting as many local artists and creative people as I can over my time in this role and doing what I can to assist the superb team running the organisation.

Connection with the arts has never been more important than now as we emerge from lockdown. Our local artists have had a really tough time and visiting their studios in May and later in September will be a welcome experience for them and uplifting for us. Nothing could be a more positive example of a return to normality than seeing the magnificent breadth of talent and creativity so close to where we live.

Yours sincerely

Richard Benyon

Richard Benyon photograph