Oswestry’s ‘Summer of Art’ has well and truly begun with the opening of a textile exhibition at The Willow Gallery in Willow Street.

Oswestry Town Mayor, Cllr Olly Rose, attended the launch of the ‘Stitch by Stitch’ exhibition and commented, “It’s fantastic, do go along. The exhibition is organised by two local textile artists Alison Holt and Suzette Smart (pictured) and is the second largest textile art exhibition outside London. It’s running for 8 weeks and there are also demos and workshops, so check out their website for more information www.willowgalleryoswestry.org.”

Art takes so many forms and Oswestry has always been a creative town. Oswestry’s Summer of Art takes its inspiration from the national theme for the 2023 Heritage Open Days: Creativity Unwrapped. This has inspired Oswestry’s Cultural Consortium (the group that organises February’s Love Oswestry festival), to ‘artify’ Oswestry for the entire summer with a finale built around Heritage Open Days, taking place from September 8th to 16th.

The centrepiece of the ‘Summer of Art’ is ART-efact, led by local artist Holly Maries. ART-efact will see artists use the fascinating collections housed at Oswestry Town Archives and Oswestry Town Museum to inspire their art. ART-efact has recruited four talented local artists to work with Oswestry’s cultural partners and places, telling the stories of the town through their work. The project will culminate in a 2-week exhibition, taking place during Heritage Open Days – England’s largest festival of arts & culture.

As well as ART-efact, Oswestry’s Qube opened its summer exhibition ‘New Beginnings’  https://qube-oca.org.uk/exhibitions/. More exciting events are being developed including open-air art workshops, and we hope to open some closed buildings to display the work of local artists.

A drama programme ‘Sense of Place’ will be running from the 7th to the 10th of August at Hope Church with a performance at Hermon Arts on Friday, 11th of August. This is a fantastic opportunity for 20 young people aged 12 -14 to work with Royal Shakespeare Company Associate, Michael Corbidge, and includes creative writing, performance, and improvisation. The workshops are from 10am to 4pm each day and costs just £50 for the whole week. For more info, visit Stage Five Theatre’s website. https://www.stagefivetheatre.co.uk/classes

On Wednesday, the 16th of August, one of the ART-efact artists, Jean Atkin, will deliver a creative writing workshop at Qube, inspired by the riches to be found in Oswestry Archives and Museum. You’ll have the chance to explore the past life of the town through its maps, lists, grocers’ ledgers, reminiscences, and old photographs. Jean will provide a range of prompts and ideas to start you writing your own responses, so we bring to life the atmospheres, the familiarities, and the strangeness of our local past. To book your free place, visit https://qube-oca.org.uk/class/art-e-fact-workshop-with-jean-aitkin

There will be theatre and music performed throughout the summer at Cae Glas Park culminating in ‘Culture Fest’ on the 9th of September. Oswestry guided tours are held every Saturday at 11am from the Tourist Information Centre and there are history and poetry walks planned for September, so there is plenty of art and culture for residents and visitors to get involved with.

More events will be added, so keep in touch and follow  https://www.facebook.com/LoveOswestryCC