Local artists join forces to launch the Three Peaks Art Trail

Frank Gordon

Frank Gordon - Credit: not Archant

A new art trail aims to change perceptions of an area best known by walkers and cyclists, writes Justine Brooks

Hester Cox, Silent Night

Hester Cox, Silent Night - Credit: not Archant

It’s an area best known for its challenging walking trails – Yorkshire’s Three Peaks takes in the summits of Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough – but a group of artists have come together to attract visitors with a different, less physically challenging, type of scenery.

This month, the first ever Three Peaks Art Trail will be launched, with over 20 artists taking part. It’s part of a growing number of open studio events that now take place all over Yorkshire and across the UK, providing artists with the opportunity to meet art collectors and enthusiasts and for those enthusiasts to get a good look at what artists really get up to in their studios.

The launch of Three Peaks Art Trail follows the decision of organisers to cancel North Yorkshire Open Studios this year because of cuts in local authority funding. Undaunted, the artists of Ingleton, Ribblehead, Horton-in-Ribblesdale and Settle have formed an organisation called Three Peaks Arts and are opening their studios to the public from June 30th to July 8th. They’ve received funding from local councils, the railways and a fine art materials supplier.

‘There are so many visual artists in this area, and we wanted to recognise them more fully,’ says Gemma Reid, an artist and gallerist in the Yorkshire Dales market town of Settle, whose work will feature during Three Peaks Art Trail.

Penny Hunt, Edge of the Wood

Penny Hunt, Edge of the Wood - Credit: not Archant

The trail also provides a new lease of life for the village of Horton’s primary school, which closed its doors to children in July 2017 because of falling pupil numbers. The school will provide a pop-up hub for the Three Peaks Art Trail, with a range of (reasonably priced) printmaking and ceramics workshops as well as an exhibition containing work by all the participating artists on the trail.

The trail also features highlights such as the opening to the public of painter Norman Adams RA’s studio. Adams, who died in 2005, was professor of painting at the Royal Academy Schools and Keeper of the Royal Academy. Adams and his wife, the poet Anna Adams moved to their home in Horton near Settle in 1957, and it is said that although a Londoner by birth, this corner of Yorkshire was his spiritual home. Norman and Anna’s son Ben will read his mother’s poetry in the studio during the week.

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Renowned printmaker Hester Cox, who is also taking part in the trail, says: ‘It’s a real community event and allows artists in the area to engage with visitors as well as the local agricultural community.’

Rachel Thornton

Rachel Thornton - Credit: not Archant

The Three Peaks Art Trail takes place from June 30th-July 8th. For more information go to threepeaksarts.co.uk