Lady Bay Arts Festival
took place as part of the National Volunteer’s Week on 16th & 17th May. Taking full advantage of a blustery but overall sunny weekend to launch its special 20th Anniversary, the event attracted a record 2000 visitors including children. Whilst both days proved busy, Sunday brought a surge in numbers with some venues reporting over 500 visitors between 1pm & 4pm! Unsurprisingly with a brilliant line up of 73 artists exhibiting across 27 venues in Lady Bay, artists raised a fantastic £17800 increasing sales on 2014 by 40% and continuing the festival’s contribution to boosting the local economy and supporting artists in the region.
The main Arts Trail took visitors to various corners of Lady Bay. Through leafy streets and alleys, they were guided by a specially designed 20th edition brochure and map to discover wonderful displays of paintings, photographs, sculptures, ceramics, pottery, jewellery, felts in homes and gardens. As in previous years artists found interesting as well as unique ways to display their work in kitchens, front rooms, sheds, conservatories and gardens.
A big attraction for 2015 was the art installation in All Hallows Church with 8 Nottingham based artists collaborating with Rev Mark Rodel to create art in different spaces of the church responding to its shaker style architecture and the theme places and spaces and back again
. Specially commissioned by the festival, the installation created a peaceful and thought provoking art space. Artists were
amazed at how many people were engaged with their work - male & female, young & old – and that there was a genuine interest in their working processes with many offering their own thoughts.
There was plenty of entertainment for younger visitors with free art workshops run by professional artists at Lady Bay Primary School. All activities were well attended with almost 300 children participating in a range of papermaking, drawing, printmaking, dance and performance.
Meanwhile 1st Lady Bay Scouts, after selling out on their refreshments on Saturday, rose to the challenge by baking late into the night for Sunday, raising a record
£1,273 towards their campaign to rebuild the scout hut in Mona road.
A further £1751 was raised by volunteers for the Lady Bay School Association, Lady Bay Community Association, Maggie’s, Water Aid and Millwood Cat Rescue.
To add pleasure to the weekend an accomplished range of instrument and song was provided throughout the Arts Trail by the Poppy Folk Club, strolling musicians, bands and the Lady Bay Community Choir.
Potter Alan Birchall felt this was his best festival ever “
… it was an absolutely stunning festival. I really enjoyed the weekend and was amazed at the number of visitors... Thank you for your superb organization”.
Due to the success of the last two years, there are plans to set up a new Young Person’s Creative Project Fund; more details will be available in the autumn.
The festival team would like to thank the people of Lady Bay, their volunteers, the artists, and their sponsors – also Cllr Hetherington, Mayor of Rushcliffe for attending the 20th Anniversary party.
10% commission paid by artists’ sales plus door takings of £5016 has been contributed towards next year’s festival.
Anyone interested in finding out more about next year’s festival, which takes place in Lady Bay, West Bridgford on 14th & 15th May 2016, email
Lady Bay Arts on
Images © Joe Knowles & Brenda Baxter for Lady Bay Arts
The last few weeks have been busy with artists visiting their venues whilst the organisers are fine tuning the run up to the weekend. Our publicity drive is full on starting this week with an interview with Mark Patterson from LeftLion. Being largely responsible for press releases and distributing publicity material,
I have been trying to get to grips with tweeting and getting followers on board. Thanks to West Bridgford Wire's tweets - Pat tell me that they have 45,000 - slight panic about whether we will have enough brochures - 1500 will have to do as visitors usually happy to share! Can't do much more than this with a £1000 budget for our publicity material but do promise the brochure ( as our our flyers) will be sheer QUALITY - we believe this is better than going for quantity.
We've received some fab sponsorship to help us with publicity costs and with running the school workshops and activities. So it's thanks to NTU, The Poppy & Pint and to Palmers Conservatories who have given us some brill sponsorship to help with our publicity costs.
We were also bowled over by the amazing generosity of Custom Frames in Bulwell who donated £200 - we love you - they're great firm that do really professional framing and it's brilliant to have their support. Thankfully this week we finally heard that our Nottinghamshire County Council councillors have said they will honour their earlier pledge of £300 to help with the workshops.
So meanwhile just to keep you interested - here is a sneaky preview of the DRAFT map. Once again we have enlisted the services of John Rowley graphic designer - so don't worry it will be transformed in our brochure and website... It's taken months to get it to this stage and now is a really good feeling when all the material is gathered and emailed over to John and we are on the home run.
Draft version of LBAF15 Arts Trail Map/Venues
Very pleased that last night our very own Lady Bay Arts Festival were winners in a shortlist of 3 nominations in the category Supporting the Local Economy. I really didn’t think we’d get it but when the mayor talked about the achievement, I thought maybe we might have a chance... Thanks to RBC Councillors Sue & Richard Mallender for nominating LBAF!
So here's the piece on their
(You can view all the different awards on link - NB have asked RBC to correct the date of the festival on their website to 3rd weekend in May)
The awards are all about the potential of individuals, groups and communities as volunteers to pull together and create something uniquely beneficial.
It was good that two other Lady Bay based groups The Friends of the Hook & Nottingham Children’s Book fest were also nominated in other categories.
Well done to us all & thank you all for your support!
Brenda, Lois, Sally & Mark
This year Lady Bay Arts sponsored a bookmaking workshop as part of the Nottingham Children's Book Festival Telling Tales. Brenda Baxter & Elaine Cross introduced children to the art of making their own personal books, decorating and illustrating them. The concept reflected both the Big Draw Campaign's theme It's Our World & the value of books in children' lives. Over 50 children arranged the workshop throughout the day.
Once again Lady Bay Arts Festival has proved to be Nottinghamshire's most unique community based arts event. This year it took full advantage of a beautiful sunny weekend to launch a brilliant line up with 63 artists showing in 21 venues all situated in Lady Bay West Bridgford. Backed by sponsorship from Nottingham Trent University, local businesses and Lady Bay’s Nottinghamshire County council councillors, Lady Bay opened its doors to over 1700 visitors - a record in their 19-year history!
On Saturday morning, just before the opening, BBC Radio Nottingham's radio car called into All Hallows Church & Halls to interview festival organisers and artists before moving on to talk to a couple who were hosting 3 artists. They wanted to understand why Lady Bay residents like Leslie & Stephe were so willing to open up their home to strangers!
Highlights of the festival were the variety and high standard of art available to visitors with the opportunity to take part and to meet artists and designers. Over £12,000 sales were made proving that Lady Bay is definitely an event to experience a diverse range of art practices and in many instances, where artists were selling their work, to make a purchase. With artists on hand to talk about their work and with festival organisers professional artists themselves, plenty of advice was readily available to help visitors. Not surprisingly this year’s festival realised record sales making the event a fantastic place to buy art in the county.
“Just wanted to say a massive thank you for the weekend – I thoroughly enjoyed it and will definitely be applying again next year!” Artist
Not to worry because next year is our 20th anniversary and will take place on 16th & 17th May 2015. Already plans are in the making for the 2015 festival to be a very special arts celebration event for visitors.
From the gate takings we know that 1400 paying adults attended the event accompanied by proxy 315 children. Total numbers visiting the festival were 1715
A higher submission rate meant that more artists were involved this year than 2013 resulting in a total of 63 artists showing or running workshops across 21 venues. The highest concentrations of artists were based at All Hallows Church and the 2 Halls was 22.
There were the same numbers of venues as 2013. However 7 out of the 21 were new venues bringing a fresh look to the festival. Local pubs The Lady Bay and The Poppy & Pint were showing children's work whilst the Snail& Rabbit and Cores Eatery hosted a range of artist's work from photography, collagraphs to textile design. One venue based in Mona Road was crammed with stalls brought together by Design Circus displaying a huge range of work from
20 designers and makers - taking this into account the more accurate number of individual artists taking part overall was 80 plus!
This year's festival brings some new venues and as an experiment we have recruited Cores Eatery and Snail & Rabbit to host artists. Both pubs will be putting on creative activities for all ages and the School will be hosting an exhibition Faces by lady Bay children. Meanwhile artists have been visiting their venues and are enthusiastically reporting back. Artists taking part in The Drawing Room event at All Hallows Church have met and come up with an exciting array of ideas about live drawing activities, installations and videos. Workshops & demonstrations will be artist led by Annette Waterfield, Gavin Rodgers, Dorothy Plater, Mark Green and Freda Rhodes. Liam Toohill, local potter and a new venue for 2014, will be working his potters wheel from his garage in Holme Road. Seymour Road Studios as always will be a hub of artistic activity showing the work of Anna Collette Hunt, Laura Allen and Sarah Cavani with a possible surprise appearance from graffiti artists Luke Hollingworth. Nearby there will be a big programme of workshops and activities for children and young people. There will be music across the arts trails and refreshments ranging from homemade wine to cup cakes to sizzling sausages.
Check out our gallery below AND
Please keep checking our FB page for updates
The planning for 2014 is well on course as we begin to approach artists and makers to engage their interest! We already have some new artists and venues interested which is hugely encouraging since the prospect of showing new work and presenting a different line up means the festival will attract a good crowd and be a success. It also helps us as organisers to think and plan creatively and to explore innovative approaches to organising, curating and showing.
Overall the festival aims to engage with as many artists, art organisations and creative businesses and communities in Nottingham and the Midlands. With the participation of regular local artists, artists coming in from the Midlands and the blend of professional and amateur, this helps to keep the standard high and to insure we provide the public with a good representation of contemporary art and making.
As usual the procedure will be to take submissions from now until the deadline 14th January 2014. Following this, applications will be shared with the Planning Group who will meet soon after to decide upon who we can accommodate. This process goes very much hand in hand with recruiting venues and is very much dependent upon what we have available in Lady Bay - so we have been contacting and identifying venues to sign up for 2014.
Finally this year we will have to return to charging all participating artists/makers a fee of £10.00 to cover our increased administrations costs. We believe this is consistent and in line with other art events and exhibitions and that artists will get a good deal from our publicity and the number of people who visit and meet then and see their work.
Since we received the £270 grant from RBC it would be good to let you know what happened and how the funds were used.
Pics of the event on http://www.ladybayarts.org.uk/big-draw-campaign.html
We had about 50-60 children and adults taking part and the murals created shall be on display at the church for the next week or so. The mural provided a backdrop to the successful Nottingham Children's Book festival last weekend. Eventually they be donated to their amazing creators.
The event was recorded & photographed by organiser Brenda Baxter who will be editing a video to be shown at the next Lady Bay Arts Festival which will take place 17/18th May 2014. Artist Lois Gardner Sabet was commissioned to facilitate the event and was brilliant in encouraging families to draw together - not the usual occupation for parent and children, let alone working on a such a large scale!
One of the crucial elements was to bring people together to experience drawing and not to worry about whether they were good at it or not but to engage and help each other. We were pleased that we seem to achieve that and hope you agree that these special moments have been captured not just through the drawings but in the recording/photographing of the event.
We were very pleased be able to be part of a larger county and countywide campaign http://www.campaignfordrawing.org/bigdraw/press/East_Midlands_Press_Release.pdf
We plan to enter the event for a special award.
The Big Draw 2013 Theme
- invites you to explore the future. You might use a historic building to imagine future developments, or ask visitors to predict what museums and galleries will collect in 20/50/100 years' time. Or they may wish to design clothes, cities, transport or food fit for generations to come.
Why not focus on issues like climate change by projecting observations from nature? In schools or art clubs, you might use sketchbooks to record the year, leading to a collaborative mural in October - sharing today's stories with tomorrow's generations!
Lady Bay Arts are very excited to tell you about our first ever BIG DRAW event on 5th October. Sponsored by Rushcliffe Council, invitations are open to all ages and local artists to contribute to drawing a mural of silhouettes displayed on the walls of the church. Inspired by the long tradition of creativity in Lady Bay, the mural will represent the community's aspirations for the future.
It would be great if this first event were a success because we anticipate exhibiting the mural/the event at the Lady Bay Arts Festival 2014.
The overall success of this year’s festival has been based upon feedback taken from visitors, artists and hosts and online resources such as Facebook which indicate that it was the best festival to date in terms of its breadth and high standard of art, with a variety of interesting venues including a marked increase in involvement from children and young people owing to the additional financial and planning resources targeted at artist led workshops and events at the school.
It’s clear that the festival achieved innovative aspects in 2013 with the themed show Sanctuary at All Hallows Church representing Lady Bay’s collaboration between 6 artists – showing a variety of work shown from video installations to paintings. The use of voting booths for photography in the Front Hall was especially innovative as was the use of the stage to create a live sculpture performance. There has been an overwhelmingly positive reaction from participating artists about the organization of the festival and the hospitality shown by their hosts and the special relationship that was built over the festival between people who had never met before. Many artists would like to take part again...
It was a great festival and undoubtedly created a memorable experience, not just for local people and for those who participated but by extending beyond. The Lady Bay festival hope through its powers of engagement and unstinting enthusiasm, we have helped to create some wellbeing and a pride in Nottinghamshire’s visual arts. We have showed that we can improve opportunities by recruiting artists exhibiting high quality art and by injecting resources we have raised the quality of events at the school. This with a respectable but small increase in our numbers and a commendable rise in takings tells us that we have potential to improve. We adapted to and managed a new partnership with OSN with the end result of hopefully improving our links and building networks with other artists.