Another Positive Perspective 

One of the great things about being involved in promoting Banbury is that you get to know lots of other people who share our perspective.

They also have the view that Banbury has lots to offer and a latent potential ready to be realised, if only people were to accentuate the positives rather than to dwell on the areas to improve (which town doesn’t have those).
One of those people is US expat Deborah Menikoff Simmons who blogs about all sorts of wonderful things Banbury-based. 
Here is Deb’s great blog page – give it a good read because it is a good read!

Blogging about Banbury 
Blog & biog photo credits: Deborah Menikoff Simmons / Neil Simmons

Amazing art in Banbury and villages – Artweeks is here 21st – 30th May!

Guest Blog by Ella Hendy, artist & local Artweeks co-ordinator

Ella

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!

Artweeks Logo

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.

Banbury Artweeks

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.

Artweeks 5

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!

Artweeks 1

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!

Artweeks 2Anne Donnelly

Artweeks 3

Steve Gold

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.

Catch Ella @EllaartUK, Steve Gold @SteveGold123 and Oxfordshire Artweeks @OxonArtweeks on Twitter

Vive la différence!

One of the great things I have discovered running Visit Banbury is that local people really want to find a community to connect with – but often don’t know how.

One of Visit Banbury’s objectives is to connect people of common interests and to mobilise them to do things around Banbury.

A few short months ago Visit Banbury set up a Facebook group for local French speakers and French natives living in and around the Banbury area.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/VBFrenchSpeakers/

In a few weeks we got more than 60 members who wanted to connect, socialise and be a community.

After a couple of meet ups at The Coach & Horses for drinks and food where 8-10 people turned up, yesterday afternoon a much larger group (around 45 counting children) came together at the Depuis Centre to enjoy the traditional French Epiphany treat “la Galette des Rois”.

http://www.thelocal.fr/20160105/the-galette-des-rois

It was wonderful to see how a simple Facebook group can turn into a community coming together and whilst enjoying coffee, cake and cider people talked about how they could get involved in Banbury’s community, how to find out more about what is going on and what are the best places to visit in and around town.

We also did a French book swap and the ones which were left got added to the Banbury Phonebox Library.

Whilst this group is focused on French speakers it is not exclusive as people are looking to offer French tuition to beginners and to start helping groups such as Banbury Community Action Group.

Lots of other common interest groups exist around town who maybe don’t quite connect as they would like – Visit Banbury can help facilitate this and whilst we all enjoy the online connections we make via Facebook these groups become really powerful when they meet up in person.

Interested in getting involved ? Have a common interest group you would like to develop? Email visitbanbury@aol.com to discuss it further.

IMG_2189

 

BYHP Big Lunch Day

Well – the big day is here – we will blog about the #BYHPBigLunch afterwards but here are a few images to give you a feel for what awaits you at BYHP from 12 to 5 today !  

 If you are coming, please don’t forget to bring a dish of food to share, some non-alcoholic drink, a fold up chair or two, a homemade cake to enter into our BYHP Big Lunch Bake Off competition, a few pounds for raffle tickets as we have a mega list of prizes to be won – and your sunglasses !!  

    
    
  

   

   
    
    
    
 

Rough Guide to the Cotswolds Book Launch

Visit Banbury hosts Matthew Teller, local writer of the guide. Ticket sales close 10pm on Friday 12th. 

 

This is a book launch, a “meet and listen to the writer” opportunity, a chance to see a gem of a hidden location in Banbury, have tea and pastry, browse a wonderful bookshop, listen to some music and to network with some like-minded folks – all for £13 which includes a book whose RRP is £12.99 !! (Amazon £10.99) so all that extra for £2! 

The Mayor is coming so meet him too!

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/visit-banbury-hosts-the-rough-guide-to-the-cotswolds-official-book-launch-tickets-17245944083
One supporter on Facebook wrote:

 

Destination Banbury’s Old Town S1/E3 – The Artery

Third in our mini series is a destination shop which we are very lucky to have in Banbury, as such shops have been disappearing from the retail landscape, as they have faced stiff competition from the internet and large multiples across the UK, that being The Artery.

http://www.thearteryonline.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Artery/173619079316237

The Artery is located in Parsons Street Banbury, within the café voted the Best in Banbury, The Old Town Deli. It is a small but perfectly-formed independent shop and art centre, offering a wide range of art materials.

  

      Whether you are a professional artist or an amateur hobbyist, and whatever your preferred medium, The Artery will have something for you. 

The product range includes oil, acrylic and watercolour paints – both artist and student quality -, pastels, paintbrushes, drawing materials, specialist paper and cards, and canvases.

  

For crafters there is a range of modelling tools and materials, adhesives, lino cutting supplies, and specialist paints for glass, ceramic and fabric painting projects.  

Colouring-in for grown-ups has recently become very popular, with increasing numbers of adults realising its potential to calm and inspire. With colouring books starting at just 99p, as well as magazine titles like Art Therapy and Zen Colouring, The Artery is a good starting point for anyone wanting to encourage their creative side. 

This week marks National Stationery Week: a celebration of the art of writing. The Artery stocks inks, calligraphy pens and markers, dip pens, quality paper and envelopes and beautiful arty greetings cards, some of which are designed by local artists.
   

In short, there’s something to inspire anyone’s inner artist at The Artery, not least the man who makes it all happen – owner, artist, teacher, tutor, art historian and writer, general man about Banbury supporting everything he can – not forgetting the man behind the original Visit Banbury painting which now has pride of place in my dining room, Mr Barry Whitehouse.


Barry’s passion about the town drives him and others to make things happen and when you #visitbanbury and give The Artery a visit, you too will realise we are lucky to have him and his destination shop in Banbury.

Here’s a short video tour to give you a flavour https://animoto.com/play/cavQYg3a5C9RqhfUF3IjhA

Oh and if you hadn’t already noticed, The Artery also stocks the range of Visit Banbury merchandise 😉

Tomorrow marks the start of Art Weeks in Banbury and so The Artery will be overflowing with creations from many different artists – just one more great reason to drop in and see Barry during the Old Town Spring Party tomorrow!

A BIG thanks to guest contributor Jacqui for some of the content of this blog.

Destination Banbury’s Old Town S1/E2 – Comic Connections

Part two of today’s mini-series of blogs is about another cool destination store in Banbury. 

Comic Connections is a little hidden away in Parsons Street in Banbury but they are really worth seeking out.

   
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Comic-Connections/188289971189629

Importantly, they are there every week, selling something which people travel from miles around to buy.
We recently visited to take photos and to talk with Glyn the owner, who is a real aficionado and so passionate about his shop, his products and most importantly his customers – not to mention being a big supporter of Banbury.

In readiness for Comic Connections’ biggest and busiest day of the year, Free Comic Book Day, we have been to take some photos and to get a feel for this great retail experience; I am now desperately resisting my youthful pass time of getting back into reading 2000AD & Judge Dredd as nothing else will get done if I start again !! 

 But take a look around for yourselves with this virtual tour http://tinyurl.com/nftwawy   

Then #VisitBanbury tomorrow to pick up your free comic books and look out on the Facebook page for a very special scavenger hunt being launched at 10am tomorrow morning.