Continuing the success of previous Art Trails, twenty different venues around Gloucester – cafés, hotels, the pharmacy and retail stores in the main street, will all become mini galleries featuring the varied works of over twenty-five local artists.
The fourth Gloucester Art Trail will be held this year from October 1 to 16. Roger Marmion spoke to Margo Cameron about the project.
What inspired the idea to create the Gloucester Art Trail? I grew up on a dairy farm in the Gloucester area, went into teaching and travelled overseas. I brought the idea home from my time spent in England in 2007. While teaching in Essex, my husband and I experienced a weekend Art Trail at a little town called Leigh-on-Sea. We weaved through the streets and little lanes viewing fantastic artworks of all forms and styles. It was here I had the vision for an Art Trail of some form in Gloucester when I returned home.
Who helped you to bring this dream to reality?
On moving back to Gloucester in 2008, I became involved with the local arts group GACCI. I teamed up with my sister-in-law Wendy Fraser (photographer) and Leanne Barrett (Gloucester Gallery Director), who are also members of GACCI. Together, we developed our ideas and built our vision, and showcased our first Art Trail. From there, we have refined our ideas and fine-tuned our execution and developed the concept.
Why is the event so important to you and Gloucester?
I have always been a keen artist, enjoyed viewing galleries and am generally interested in other artists’ works.
Gloucester has a beautiful gallery that provides artists with the opportunity to exhibit and showcase their artworks; however, it is booked two years in advance. This is one of the reasons why the Art Trail was created.
How does the Art Trail assist the local artists of Gloucester?
The Art Trail can benefit local artists in a number of ways. It creates an opportunity for all Gloucester artists (both professional and amateur) to display their works and gain exposure to a new audience. It also gives them an incentive to maintain motivation and interest in experimenting in their art form, knowing there will be an avenue to showcase their works.
Lastly, it lessens the pressure on artists to create a whole body of works for a solo exhibition, but at the same time giving them a mini goal to work towards every year with the possibility of developing the confidence to, one day, have a solo exhibition of their own.
What support have you had to keep this event running?
We have continued support from Gloucester Gallery and GACCI. We also have gained support from Essential (Country) Energy each year to help with our advertising campaign. We have had great support from the business houses over the past four years. Along with giving the artists exposure, the store owners are also receiving increased traffic, which is great!
Are you exhibiting this year?
Yes. I become involved as an artist in 2010, featuring both pottery and printmaking. A couple of friends and I, Wendy Fraser and Anne Maggs (all local girls) founded ‘The Three Wheelers’. The three of us are from diverse working backgrounds, (nursing, teaching and photography), all with two things in common: having small children and a passion for art.
We purchased a kiln and a wheel last year and set ourselves a goal of being part of the Art Trail. We all find that pottery has given us a release from family duties and at the same time, it has continued to develop our love of art.
Which art forms can we expect to see in the Art Trail 2011?
There is a large array of forms and mediums being exhibited. We have painting, textiles, woodwork, glass and silk painting, photography, bonsai, mixed medium, lead lighting, pottery, printmaking, sculpture and blacksmith work, from professional artists to amateurs and beginners.