Reception Marks Start Of Art Scilly Week

Sue Lewington giving hints on watercolour sketchbooks at last year's event

Sue Lewington giving hints on watercolour sketchbooks at last year’s event

Art Scilly 2013 starts this evening with organisers saying it will be bigger and better than ever.

It’s the fourth year of the week-long festival, which gives locals and visitors a chance to roll up their sleeves and have a go at an art or craft activity.

One of the organisers, Vickie Heaney, says there’s a range of new activities on offer this year, including silver jewellery making with Fay Page, decoupage with Rhiannon Wallace and pastel drawing with Gill Schofield.

Each off-island has also put together a mini-programme of activities this year, starting with St Agnes tomorrow.

This year is the first that the festival hasn’t received any grant funding, but Vickie says that hasn’t really affected them, as the artists have always worked on a voluntary basis anyway and they’ve managed to cover costs through advertising in the brochure.

And when people go on courses, they often have a greater appreciation of the work involved in producing the art, meaning they’re more willing to buy items from the artist.

Vivkie says Art Scilly is a great way to draw people into the islands during the quiet period between Gig Weekend and the full summer season. Many visitors come year after year and plan their holidays around the activities on offer.

And getting involved with an activity while they’re here often gets them more engaged with the islands, says Vickie, especially if they have a piece of artwork to take home and remind them of their trip.

But it’s not just for the tourists. A lot of locals also take the chance to try something new.

The festival kicks off with a reception at the Phoenix Studios in Porthmellon this evening, starting at 6pm. It’s an open invitation and everyone is welcome. You can pick up a programme there and sign up for courses.

Programmes are also available at the TIC and online.