Formerly known as the Western Open Studio Art Trail (WOSAT), the Art Festival will encompass open access to artist studios, exhibitions, workshops and demonstrations right across the Island. The re-brand has allowed greater scope to encourage Island-wide artist participation.
The official festival launch and an exhibition preview will be hosted by Noa Bakehouse in Douglas on Thursday 21st April at 6pm, one week ahead of the festival weekend. The exhibition of Creative Network members’ artwork will remain on display at Noa for the duration of the Festival.
The 2015 event attracted 1200 visitors, and this is expected to increase this year. Last year’s feedback from both visitors and participating artists was unanimously positive. The re-brand and plan to extend the event across the Island is a direct response to those reactions.
Venues for exhibitions and artist demonstrations include the House of Manannan, the Corrin Hall, Hodgson Loom gallery, St Patrick’s Church and the Peel Centenary Centre. Art will also fill the streets of Peel with displays in shop windows!
Over 40 of the Island’s artists are participating, covering a huge range of disciplines including painters, illustrators, sculptors, potters, jewellers, embroiderers, print-makers and photographers. 2016 is a bumper year for open studios, with artists from Port Erin, through Grenaby, Peel, St Johns and up to Kirk Michael throwing open the doors to their private workspaces.
A series of beach art and floating lantern-making workshops for families will be hosted at the Douglas Market Hall by artists Kirsti Penzes and Carola Rush, along with the Manx Society for Marine Conservation. During the workshops, children and parents will be investigating the marine life of Douglas bay and building their own artworks from material found on the shore, followed by a session of designing and constructing floating lanterns made from materials that are not harmful to the marine environment.
The Festival is organised by The Creative Network, an artists’ cooperative with 50 members who share the aim of promoting art and artists on the Island and beyond. Valuable support is provided by the Isle of Man Arts Council, Manx National Heritage, Peel Commissioners and partner galleries.
Entrance to studios, demonstrations and exhibition venues over all three days will be by purchase of a wrist band at £3, which includes a free festival guide. Students will receive a concessional rate of £2 and everyone under 18 goes free! All venues will be open 11am – 5pm over the three day weekend.
Wrist bands and guides will be available to purchase in advance three weeks before the Festival via Noa Bakehouse in Douglas, the Welcome Centre at the Sea Terminal, the House of Manannan in Peel and all major art galleries, as well as the Corrin Hall and artist studios during the event.
For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org