Clitheroe community hosts multi-day arts festival

By Tim Aldred

16 Jun 2023

Railways Come To Clitheroe artwork by Gavin Renshaw

More than 1,000 visitors toured venues across Clitheroe to enjoy a new, three-day arts event.

The first Clitheroe Contemporary arts festival featured exhibitions, classes, educational events, opportunities to see artists at work, live music, film, performance and fringe events.

The festival began on Friday evening 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.

Blackburn artist Mark Edmundson took 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 created by six art enthusiasts and local entrepreneurs on a mission to fanfare the creative talents of the Ribble Valley and beyond.

Their collaboration successfully secured funding from Crowdfund Lancashire’s
Culture and Sport Fund. This funding was matched by 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.

Enjoyed this? Read more from Tim Aldred

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