A look ahead to 2018 Create Longridge

Alistair Sheret, one of the organisers

Alistair Sheret, one of the organisers - Credit: Archant

An artistic success story returns this month when Create Longridge is expected to attract hundreds of visitors to the Ribble Valley, writes Alistair Sheret, one of the organisers.

Steve Rostron with his painting which won first prize last year

Steve Rostron with his painting which won first prize last year - Credit: Archant

Create Longridge is returning this month following the phenomenal response from visitors, artists, businesses and locals to last year’s event.

We had 83 artists creating original works within a three-mile radius of the town centre and the paintings were judged by a panel of experts including the 2016 winner, Tracy Levine.

The first prize of £2,000 was claimed by Ribble Valley artist Steve Rostron. His painting looking across the Loud Valley to Beacon Fell wowed the judges and visitors to the exhibition which followed last year’s Create Longridge day.

This year’s event, which has attracted generous local business sponsors, will be held on Saturday July 14th and we will once again see the town through the eyes of artists, professional and amateur. In line with the inclusive nature of the competition each artist will create their piece in a size, style and media of their choice.

They have all day to create their artwork before judges decide who will be awarded first, second and third prizes. In addition, 2018 will again see the Exhibition Visitor’s Prize, sponsored by U3A Longridge.

After the artists’ work has been judged, the paintings will be displayed for visitors to vote for their favourite. Each will be exhibited in Longridge Gallery and, potentially, other venues and will be available for purchase for the following week. Last year more than 400 votes were cast and Cumbrian artist Maria Burton scooped the prize.

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A lively fringe programme is also being planned – art classes, pottery, silk painting and urban art will be on offer for those aged 5-14 years. There will also be the opportunity for adults to try their hands at painting on silk. The town’s textile enthusiasts have confirmed they will gather once again to create a large scale collaborative work, with this year’s theme still to be decided.

Creative writing has also been added for 2018 with budding authors and poets having the opportunity to write and perform a new piece of work on Create Longridge day.

Create Longridge chairman Simon Smith said: ‘This is about so much more than just painting. We envisage the fringe programme will grow every year, encompassing an ever increasing variety of creative pursuits. It allows those who may not feel so confident with their painting ability to get involved, have fun and be creative in other ways. The children’s classes were a huge success last year and gave the town’s schoolchildren another outlet to show their creativity. We hope there is something for everyone.’

Create Longridge brings not only highly talented and creative people to the town, it attracts hundreds of residents and visitors who, in turn, support our local businesses, the very reason Create Longridge was conceived.

So who will follow in the winning footsteps of Steve Rostron? Full registration details can be found at www.createlongridge.co.uk and, of course, Lancashire Life will keep you posted on all the latest developments.

For more information email info@createlongridge.co.uk and keep up to date with developments via Facebook at @createlongridge and by Twitter at @cr_longridge.