Guest Blog by Ella Hendy, artist & local Artweeks co-ordinator
If you’ve been in and around Banbury over the past couple of weeks, hopefully you’ve noticed the familiar blue and black logo, and lots of art, popping up. This can mean only one thing – Oxfordshire Artweeks is on its way to our part of the county!
We’re lucky here in Oxfordshire that we have the biggest and the longest running open studio event in the UK. It’s already kicked off in Oxford city and on 21 May, Artweeks comes to Banbury and surrounding villages.
More than sixty painters and designers, potters and sculptors, photographers, jewellers and textile artists will be opening their homes, studios and other venues to showcase their talent through exhibitions and demonstrations. And if you have spotted the displays already up in the former Moss Bros shop on the High Street or Banbury Museum shop, you will see that we are indeed a talented lot here in Banbury and villages.
This is just a taster – there will be so much more to see during the week! There are a number of new Artweeks artists this year (including myself), and lots of familiar Artweeks faces, with some amazing new creations to show. We’ve all been working very hard to make it a week to remember.
In Banbury itself there are seven different venues plus The Artery and a wealth of different creations to uncover – from photography to digital art, oil paintings to mixed-media canvases, glass work and jewellery.
There is a varied exhibition at The Mill on the theme ‘In a Land Faraway’. And if you like what you see of Caroline Chappell’s work in the town centre in Hamptons, why not head to Middleton Cheney to see her at work in her home studio.
Venture further afield and discover a wealth of art in Sibford Ferris where the Temple Mill opens its doors to invite you in, or in the National Herb Centre at Warmington where four artists host a large exhibition of varied styles. Enjoy rural watercolours amongst the agricultural machinery in the magnificent Swalcliffe barn; pots for pleasure and purpose in an Old Pig Pen Pottery in Bloxham and hand-carved spoons by master wood-worker Martin Damen in Great Bourton. In Culworth see stone lithography prints inspired by the circus, or take a trip to Warden Hill where the Cool Contours arts and crafts centre where the tutors showcase their talent.
And that’s just for starters – there’s plenty more amazing art to uncover in Adderbury, Twyford, Deddington, Kings Sutton, North Newington, Milcombe and Sibford Gower too. So best to pick up a copy of the Artweeks guide, one of our local trail maps, and plan your route!
I for one am very excited about Artweeks. I’ll be at Naomi’s Café Bar with a new series of paintings, and my paints. I’ll be offering you the opportunity to make your mark on Artweeks too, with a large interactive piece I have created for the week. I hope to see you there!
You can download a digital copy of our trail map here and for further information on artists, venues, and exhibitions visit www.artweeks.org You can also keep up to date with all our news via our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/OxfordshireArtweeksBanbury
Our thanks to Hamptons, Senecio, Banbury Museum shop, Banbury Library, and Banbury Town Team for your support with our trail maps, taster exhibitions, or information displays.