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Celebrated artists’ studios in Cornwall

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The Borlase Smart John Wells Trust is a charity offering high quality, affordable studio space for artists working in Cornwall. It owns and manages three historic artists’ studios: Grade II* Porthmeor Studios in St Ives, and Trewarveneth Studios and Grade II* Anchor Studio in Newlyn, providing 22 studios for artists and 2 studios for the St Ives School of Painting.


Porthmeor and Anchor studios are probably the oldest working artists’ studios in the country, and are best known for the internationally significant artists who have been based there. Previous tenants have included Julius Olsson, Stanhope Forbes, Frances Hodgkins, Ben Nicholson, Patrick Heron, Francis Bacon, Terry Frost, Roger Hilton, Peter Lanyon, Wilhelmina Barns-Graham and John Wells, and more recently Rana Begum, Michael Dean, Nicholas Deshayes, Lubaina Himid, Richard Long, Katy Moran, Veronica Ryan, Daniel Sinsel and Caragh Thuring.


Porthmeor is also celebrated for its fishing connections. Originally built for the St Ives pilchard industry, Porthmeor Cellars are still used by fishermen, a unique reminder of the days when many of its neighbours were used by both artists and fishermen.

How to apply for a Studio

The Trust manages 19 long let studios and 3 on short lets, and it maintains a contact list of artists who are interested in applying for one of these studios.
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Residency Programmes

Find out more about the Porthmeor Artist Residency Programme.
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Room Hire

The stunning Borlase Smart Room, overlooking Porthmeor Beach, is available to hire for community, business and social events.
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Sign up to our mailing list or follow us on social media to hear about upcoming events and opportunities
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Whats On

Porthmeor Studios hosts a programme of talks and events, including the Porthmeor Studios Lunch Break talks
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Current Artists

There are 22 artists in the 3 Trust studio buildings – most are long-term tenants but 3 studios at Porthmeor are used by invited guest residents or rented by selected short-let tenants.
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The Maritime Artist

Mark Dion’s site-specific installation, The Maritime Artist, is on permanent display in Cellar 4.
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Please consider making a donation to help us support artists and maintain our remarkable studios.
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