Arts and crafts fair in Kirkcudbright

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An excellent arts and crafts event is set to be a popular draw next weekend, March 10-11 at Kirkcudbright Parish Hall.

This new addition to the events calendar has attracted arts and crafts people from across the region, giving cause to consider establishing it as a regular feature for March.

The fair has attracted a variety of exhibitors of original work, including David Alexander, Stewart Baillie, Lynda Burns, Peter Campbell, Dianne Chopping, Colin Gardiner, Peter and Frances Grant, Kirkcudbright Academy Student Crafts, Angela Lawrence, Kirsti Lord, Phil McMenemy, Morag MacPherson, Lindsay MacPhee, Alison McDowell, The Nail Factory, Anthea Robson, Mark Rogers and Anna Bray, Alan Ross, Pauline Saul, Jennifer Tarling and Erwin van ‘T Hoff.

Some of the exhibitors will be demonstrating their work. For example, Erwin van ‘T Hoff, as well as displaying his fine Viking and Anglo-Saxon influenced contemporary silver jewellery, will be making jewellery from copper wire. Many of the other participants will also be working on site.

Between them they will display cards, glasswork, stained glass, letter press printing and hand-bound books, lino printing, wooden jigsaws and clocks, fabric crafts, jewellery made from silver, fused glass, felt, beads, clay and gemstones, woodcraft, paintings, prints, photography, pottery, sculpture and textiles, and many other arts and craft items.

This event has been organised with a view to fundraising for the Kirkcudbright Academy Mongolia 2012 expedition and community project. This is to be undertaken by students from Kirkcudbright Academy in a challenging environment in October 2012. As well as trekking across the plains on horseback, on foot with backpacks and living in yurts, the expedition involves a considerable commitment of time to working on a community project, building a children’s day care centre to enable itinerant Mongolian workers to have somewhere safe for their children while they work.

The students will gain much in the way of cultural experiences, both working with the children and seeing how people live in Mongolia, but also the challenge of fundraising itself is proving a wonderful opportunity to learn about communication, team-building, organisation and commitment. The students so far have been active in helping organise and “make happen” many student, parent or teacher initiated ideas such as this craft fair. Many of the events and services organised, like this one, give a lot to the local community.

There is a grand arts and crafts raffle with a display of the main prizes at the arts and crafts fair and, of course, raffle tickets will be on sale there (draw on June 8 Kirkcudbright Academy). For just a £1 ticket a fantastic number of original art and craft prizes are to be won, in all worth about £4000. All exhibitors have contributed an original piece, including the “top” prize: a £1000 commission for a sea or landscape painting in oils by Angela Lawrence of Clience Studio. As well as the exhibitor prizes and some anonymous donations, there have been notable donations from artists not at the fair, including Alexander Robb, who has contributed a beautiful £800 original oil painting of “Poppies”, and Margaret Robb, who has promised a portrait commission, and George Lawson’s £280 sumptuous watercolour of Netherlaw Burn. There is also an original patchwork quilt by Penny Smith, a donation from Kie Stewart, artist placemats and coasters and art materials from Clience Studio, and silver jewellery from the Whitehouse Gallery.

Entrance is free, and raffle tickets will also be available from Clience Studio, Castle Douglas, and at other venues to be announced.