Harlow at heart of Essex Arts Trail

BE inspired and get your creative juices flowing when Essex Summer of Art is unveiled next week (4 June).

This is the seventh Summer of Art, which showcases artists from across the county from June to September.

From Burnham to Braintree, Harlow to Harwich, Cressing to Chelmsford, and from Rochford to Rayleigh, there will be something to tickle your artistic palette over the summer months.

County Councillor Roger Hirst, Cabinet Member for Customer Services, Libraries, Planning and the Environment, said: “This is a brilliant showcase for artists across Essex to let the public see what fantastic talent we have in this county. Wherever you are in Essex, there will be an art trail nearby to visit. Why not make a day of combining the artistic experience with a tour round the local town or village and see what it has to offer?”

This year the festival is combining with the Essex Network of Artists’ Studio’s programme ‘ENAS Events’ to create the largest visual arts display in Essex, offering exciting opportunities to visit art trails, artist studios, workshops and showcase events.

Last year more than 72,000 visitors enjoyed the art and culture on offer, with over 46% of visitors exploring more than one art trail across the county, showing that culture really contributes to Essex’s economy.

Highlights include:

The Harwich Festival of the Arts, from 24 June to 5 July, which has established itself as one of the most diverse and accessible festivals anywhere in the UK, and is now rated in the top 15 arts festivals by the Sunday Times. Its interesting programming has something for everybody, has performances not seen anywhere else and has some of the lowest ticket prices around.

The Hunt and Darton Café will be in Harlow, one of the venues on the Harlow Art and Sculpture Trail from 15-29 June. Pop into this social and artistic hub where spontaneity and performance meet great food and drink.

The Essex Schools Showcase for the Arts gives free rein to the talent of A level students in the visual and performing arts, painting, sculpture, textiles, design, video, music, drama and dance. Live art, workshops and street theatre will be on offer in the centre of Chelmsford from 8-15 July.
The art trails begin at The Barley Barn at Slamseys in Great Notley where the Essex Summer of Art is launched on 4 June. Their art trail forms part of a whole month of creative and art activities and events exploring ‘The Natural World’.

On display in the Barley Barn is ‘AFTERLIFE’, a specially commissioned exhibition featuring taxidermy specimens, photographs and mixed-media artworks that explore animals and the natural world. Make the most of a unique opportunity to study pheasants, rabbits, hedgehogs and other animals that are normally hidden in the hedges.

There will also be special opportunities to photograph, draw and make prints from the collection, or you can take part in one of our taxidermy workshops.

In Dovehouse paddock, local sculptors and land artists have created site-specific and interactive sculptures, and you can also follow the nature trail along the farm footpaths.

For full details of the Essex Summer of Art and ENAS events, please visit: http://www.visitessex.com/discover/cultural/summer-of-art-enas.aspx

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