Art lovers, listen up! We know there’s a plethora of amazing venues in the city where you can see excellent examples of art (think Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, The Forum, The Undercroft, The Gallery in the Lanes, Castle Fine Art, Fairhurst Gallery, and many more). But if you fancy a change of scenery then we have a perhaps lesser-known gem for you: The Harleston & Waveney Art Trail.
Image: sculpture by Anne Steel
Image: Malcolm Cudmore - Wainford
The Harleston & Waveney Art Trail Collective (HWAT) are a group of professional artists who are all based around the Waveney Valley, and in particular close to Harleston, a lovely market town in South Norfolk which is located very near to the Suffolk border. The group currently includes around 30 or so artists; see the full list here.
Every summer HWAT throw open the doors of their art studios to the public, for selected weekends over the summer, offering a great opportunity to discover new artists and work, and a different and exciting way to explore this area of Norfolk.
Image: Caryl Challis - Aldeburgh Boat, batik on cotton
Having taken place in the summer months every year since 2005, the trail involves the majority of members opening their studios and workshops for the public to take a look and explore, all completely free! This year the three weekends for the trail will be: 24 & 25 June; 1 – 2 July; and 8 - 9 July 2017. The studios will be open from 11am – 6pm each day, and whilst you can purchase work during this time (and this is a great time to do so, directly from the artists), browsers are also welcome!
Image: Nell Close - mixed media on paper
You’ll find work in various forms and mediums including paintings, drawings, ceramics, textiles, photography, sculpture, glass and mosaics. One interesting example is Anne Steel’s work (top image) - new to the trail this year, artist Anne Steel creates incredible one-off animal sculptures from broken jewellery – they’re very unusual and can take months or even years to make, as she has to make sure she can use the correct shaped piece!
Take a look at artists Malcolm Cudmore, Barbara Bernard, Nell Close, Liz Taunt, Caryl Challis, Nicky Stainton, Val Lindsell, Vicky Townley and many more on the HWAT website to get a flavour of the kind of fantastic work you'll be able to see!
Whatever your artistic tastes are, you’re bound to find something of interest to take a look at.
Image: Barbara Bernard - Five Sheep, oil on board
This year is also the group’s first year supporting a charity, East Coast Hospice, based in Great Yarmouth. They’ll be helping to raise funds for their building of Margaret Chadd House Hospice. The main supporting event will be held on Sunday 7th May, from 3 – 6pm at Old Kings Head, Brockdish IP21 4JY (www.kingsheadbrockdish.co.uk). Here HWAT will be holding their Spring Show, and a percentage of all sales will go to the East Coast Hospice plus a number of artists will be fully contributing the sale price of their donated artworks!
Follow the Harleston & Waveney Art Trail on Facebook.
If this sounds like your cup of tea then don't miss Norfolk & Norwich Open Studios, from 27 May - 11 June, where various artists open the doors to their studios and offer a chance for visitors to meet them and browse or purchase their work. Find out more about the Norfolk & Norwich Open Studios here.
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