Thursday, 16 September 2021

Workshops at school are a classy addition to arts trail

Workshops at school are a classy addition to arts trail

HENLEY’S artistic community is gearing up to welcome thousands of visitors over the bank holiday weekend as the town’s popular arts trail returns for the 13th year.

With more than 200 artists showcasing their work across 32 venues, the 2018 event promises to be bigger and better than ever.

A spokesman for the organisers said a total of 30,000 brochures had been distributed ahead of this year’s trail, which runs from tomorrow (Saturday) to Monday (May 7) and continues next Saturday (May 12) with a series of “hands on” art and craft workshops at St Mary’s School in St Andrew’s Road, Henley.

The arts trail is also taking a leaf out of the Henley Literary Festival’s book by hosting a standalone “Artists in Conversation” event at the town hall tomorrow from 4pm to 5pm.

Painters Camilla Dowse and Genevieve French and ceramicist Hannah Wilson will be joined by interviewer Nicola Nott, the co-founder of Henley-based networking group the Creative Duck.

Billed as an informal Q&A, the session will see each of the artists talking about their creative process and the various highs and lows they have experienced during their careers.

Tickets are priced £5 and can be purchased on the door or in advance from

As ever, though, the main draw is the chance for members of the public to browse and buy hundreds of artworks in a range of different media. The arts trail spokesman added: “With such a wide range of artists there is something for everyone — gorgeous handmade jewellery, stunning ceramics, beautiful textile pieces, wonderful paintings, clever woodwork and just about every other craft discipline you could name. There will be something to suit everyone’s taste.

“It couldn’t be easier to follow the trail, so why not make a day of it — or even the weekend? Look out for the bright pink Henley Arts Trail logos when you follow the map in the HAT leaflet.

“The trail features a variety of venues in Henley itself. It also stretches from Bix and Assendon to Shiplake, Wargrave, Knowl Hill, Sonning, Twyford, Charvil, Hurst, Waltham St Lawrence and Shurlock Row. Artists will be present at venues to welcome guests and talk about their work.

“The lively mix of venues includes artists’ home studios and local village halls plus sculpture gardens at the Big Plant Nursery in Twyford and Coltman’s Farm in Waltham St Lawrence, to name just a few.

“Many venues offer refreshments, some have demonstrations or workshops for visitors who want to have a go themselves, and all provide a stimulating and thoroughly enjoyable experience.”

One venue with a difference on this year’s trail is St Mary’s School — aka venue 32 — as it is not opening its doors until next Saturday (May 12).

Entry to all trail venues is free, but St Mary’s — which is one of the sponsors of this year’s event — will be hosting a series of 90-minute and two-hour workshops running from 10am to 4.30pm.

There are 15 workshops in total — six of which are for adults, with a further six for children and three for children and accompanying adults.

These cost £10 per person or £10 per adult and child and places must be booked in advance.

Tutors include Kate Findlay, who together with Judith Fletcher and Kirsten Jones organised the first Henley Arts Trail back in 2006.

In order of start time, the adult workshops are as follows:

• Poppy fields in acrylics with Maria Meerstadt, 10am to noon

• Handmade cards and gift box with Kate Bodle, 10.30am to noon

• Hand sewing patchwork hexagons with Christine Walmsley, 12.30pm to 2.30pm

• Eyes in watercolour — the window to the soul with Liz Chaderton, 1pm to 2.30pm

• Experimental ink drawing and mark making with Laura Hodgson, 1pm to 3pm

• Textures in watercolour with Liz Chaderton, 3pm to 4.30pm

The children’s workshops are as follows:

• Fantasy figures using wire, wood and modroc with Kate Findlay, years five to nine, 10am to noon

• How to paint facial features using oil paint with Esperanza Cuartero, year seven and up, 10am to noon

• 3D albatross bird mobile with Lynda Hopkins, years five to nine, 1pm to 2.30pm

• Handmade cards and gift box with Kate Bodle, years three to six, 1pm to 2.30pm

• Paint a portrait of your favourite singer in oil paints with Esperanza Cuartero, year seven and up, 1pm to 3pm

• Exploring print-monoprint and collograph with Laura Hodgson, years four to eight, 1pm to 3pm

The workshops for children and adults are as follows:

• 3D paradise birds with Lynda Hopkins, years two to four (with accompanying adult), 10.30am to noon

• Funny fish in acrylics with Maria Meerstadt, years three to six (with accompanying adult), 1pm to 3pm

• Beginners’ knitting with Christine Walmsley, years three to six (with accompanying adult), 3pm to 4.30pm

For more information, including details of how to book, visit www.stmarys-henley and

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