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“There’s a fantastic buzz for 2019”
Excitement is building for the 23rd Leigh Art Trail, which takes over our town for a week from Saturday, June 8, showcasing the beautiful work of more than 60 painters, ceramicists, sculptors and photographers.
A host of surprises await the thousands of visitors who pour into Leigh each year for the popular event, including the launch of a dedicated Children’s Art Trail and probably the biggest public art installation the town has ever seen in the Library Gardens.
The Leigh Art Trail’s Wendy Scotland said: “There is a fantastic buzz for 2019 as our community’s shops, cafes, churches - and even railway stations - become pop-up galleries for eight days.
“We’re especially looking forward to seeing what Andrew Haines - who brought us the incredible Sculpture Street in 2017 - has in store for us in the Library Gardens. He’s not given us much idea what it is, other than it’s big!”
The Art Trail is an opportunity to explore Leigh and meet the artists, discuss their work and watch demonstrations. Details of which artists are exhibiting and where to find them are revealed in the free Trail Guide, which is already available across Leigh.
Wendy added: “People can discover where their favourite artists are going to be and also see the exciting artists who are new to the Trail this year. We have 11 of those and we can’t wait to introduce them to our visitors.”
Among those is 15-year-old photographer Alfie Winters, the youngest ever Art Trail participant. Alfie was honoured recently to have a piece of work put on show at London’s National Portrait Gallery. See the world through his eyes at June Store (125 Broadway West).
The first Leigh Art Trail saw all the artists fling wide the doors to their homes and galleries - and the spirit of that idea lives on some 22 years later. Painter Howard Robinson is not only a founder member of the Trail, but is inviting people into his home studio this year to view another stunning collection of seascapes (39a Marine Parade).
Other highlights include Nicola Parry’s powerful images telling the story of a family whose life has been turned upside-down by caring for their disabled child. Nicola’s award-winning work offers a glimpse into a world normally hidden from view and is on display at Polar House (103 Rectory Grove).
The Children’s Art Trail (CAT) is a new venture to get youngsters more involved in the week.
Families should head to Leigh Library, Two Tree Gallery, 70 The Broadway or Saint Pierre School and collect a CAT pack, which highlights some special venues to visit and space to answer questions about the amazing art on show there.
CAT selfie points are dotted along the route for those who fancy sharing photos of themselves enjoying the Trail.
Once again, the Trail features a Secret Auction. Every artist has donated a piece of work and these will be on show and awaiting bids in the venues. The Trail is a not-for-profit organisation and all proceeds go towards keeping alive this highlight of the Leigh cultural calendar.
Wendy said: “It’s a case of pick your favourite piece, fill in a card, post it in the Secret Auction box and if you’re the highest bidder on Saturday, June 15, you’ll be going home with a stunning piece of original work!”
For those who want a more hands-on experience during Art Trail week, a series of events is lined up, including street art with Scotty Brave on Sunday June 9. Find Scotty in the Library Gardens from 1pm.
The Leigh Art Trail Guide has details on all the other activities going on throughout what promises to be another sensational week.
For more information visit www.leigharttrail.com
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