If you are interested in art and craft, in meeting local artists and seeing where they work, 11-26 September are dates for your diary. Devon Open Studios is an event that helps artists, and those who love art, potential customers and the curious to meet with each other all over Devon. This year there are 183 venues showing the work of 323 artists. Our picture editor, Nancy Murgatroyd, introduces some of the artists who will be exhibiting in and around Crediton.
Local artist Emma Martin was struggling to find a supportive creative community online. Her response was to launch Art-Mantic, a new digital network where artists and art lovers can share ideas and support each other. But this is not about selling their artwork, as she explained to us in an interview.
A popular figure on the South West arts scene, Jackie Juno is a former Bard of Exeter and multiple poetry slam winner. She was a huge hit at the Poetic Licence event last summer in Crediton Town Square. Local poet Ysella Sims caught up with her recently to find out more about what makes her creative heart tick.
The Turning Tides Project (TTTP) believes everyone should have equal access to music, the arts and life. At the Crediton Station Tea Rooms, and in the community, they have been working to make this right a reality for people with learning disability or autism labels by offering regular music, art, sports and social sessions and events, alongside many other enabling services and opportunities.
Last summer we invited people of all ages to express their experience of lockdown through words, pictures or music. The adult winner of our ‘My Life in Lockdown’ competition was Suzie Yates, for her beautiful paintings inspired by walks around Crediton. But, as she explains here, she had only recently taken up painting to help cope with the anxiety of lockdown. Inspired by Grayson Perry’s TV series Art Club, she found the confidence to pursue her passion and she is now selling her work as prints and greeting cards in local shops.
Giant puppets and live music will brighten Crediton Town Square again this month as well as the picnic tables which proved so popular in the summer. Following the success of the Share in the Square events, organiser Jack Robson presents the line up for a special weekend of festive outdoor entertainment organised by Crediton Arts Centre and CODS.
For more than 30 years Crediton Arts Centre has been offering a busy programme of classes, workshops and live events from its base in East Street. But since it was forced to close in March, the Centre has been finding new ways of working and fundraising, including the auction of some stunning wooden sculptures, as Administrator Jack Robson explains.
Artists are often quite resourceful people. The challenges posed by the pandemic have been manifold, but many are managing to adapt and find new ways to explore their passions. Crediton artist Vin Jelly lost much of his paid work during lockdown, but kept painting regardless. He also started filming his paintings as they developed and sharing the videos on YouTube. Not only has the filming process helped him concentrate, but he has gathered a new audience for his work.