Over 1,000 people attend first Clitheroe Contemporary Arts Festival
and live on Freeview channel 276
Held across nine venues, Clitheroe was filled with art exhibitions, art classes, educational events, opportunities to see artists at work, live music, art films, performance and fringe events.
From Holmes Mill to The Castle, the town came alive with something for everyone. An army of yellow clad volunteers helped direct visitors over the weekend.
The festival began with a private view at Holmes Mill’s Cotton Room hosting over 200 invited guests and sponsors and culminated with an awards evening at the Bistro, Bar and Grill again at Holmes Mill with Blackburn artist Mark Edmundson taking home the £500 plain air painting prize, with Anthony Platt being awarded best in show for his painting of Slaidburn in the Open Event.
The event was the brainchild of six art enthusiasts and local entrepreneurs who are on a mission to fanfare the creative talents of the Ribble Valley and beyond.
They are chairman Andy Schofield of Longitude Gallery, treasurer Vicky Carter, secretary Deborah Stevenson, art director Graeme Windle of Atlantic Contemporary Art, Beverley Chapelow of Atelier Arts and Katherine Rodgers Arts Development Ribble Valley Borough Council.
Their collaboration successfully secured funding from Crowdfund Lancashire’s Culture and Sport Fund. This funding was matched by the generosity of local businesses such as James’ Places, Fort Vale Engineering, who supported all the educational elements of the festival, Collins White Tile Importers and Backhouse Insurance.
The festival has already left behind its first legacy piece, with a wall mural by Preston artist Gavin Renshaw depicting the railways being brought to Clitheroe, outside Longitude Art Gallery off Castlegate. The festival plans to leave a permanent piece of artwork or sculpture for Clitheroe every year that it is held.
Plans for 2024 are already underway with a desire to broaden the festival further next year and put it on the Clitheroe festival calendar for years to come.
The aim of the board post festival is to support the arts and artists in the Ribble Valley and ensure that it continues to be a source of inspiration for them and everyone interested in the arts. A place to visit, stay or move to in order to further their careers in the arts.