Art in a league of its own

Published: 4 May 2012 08:00

ARTISTS from across the county showcased their work at Reading's third Contemporary Art Fair.

Share this image

Sir John Madejski took a break from promotion celebrations at Reading Football Club to cut the ribbon at Friday's preview evening and welcomed visitors.

He said: "I think what is really special is that so many aspiring artists have the opportunity to show their works of art.

"This event is a great thing for the arts."

The fair opened to the public last Saturday and Sunday with more than 80 exhibitors displaying everything from celebrity sketches to watercolour landscapes and hand-drawn street images.

Many artists manned their own stands to meet visitors, discuss their work and make art more accessible.

A particular highlight was Aunt Elsie's Parlour workshop run by arts charity Jelly, which got visitors involved in making bunting to be hung around Reading town centre for the Diamond Jubilee.

The neighbouring stand sold mini canvases donated by each artist for £40 each to raise money for The Prince's Trust.

Among the weekend's visitors was TV presenter Melinda Messenger, eager to show her support for the arts in all forms. She explained: "It's very inspiring, very uplifting and we all need a bit of that in our lives. And it's great when it's something that's local - it's important that they get a chance to shine as well."

Melvin Benn, managing director of Reading Festival promoters Festival Republic, was overwhelmed by the set-up. He said: "It's a delight. The extraordinary thing is that when I walked in, I didn't expect art to be everywhere the way it was."

The event was sponsored by The Chronicle, and Vintage Roots.

Linda Cook, from Woodley, won a Berkshire Media Group competition for a £100 voucher to spend at the exhibition. She said: "It's really exciting because I've never won anything this big before!"

Linda, a birth doula and therapist, and her husband, Martin, chose a painting called "The Harbour Wall" by Gary Ford, from Abergavenny.

She said: "It was a hard decision but I was mainly attracted by its bright colours. The event was a good experience and the organisers were lovely. I don't know anything about art so it was a new experience for me!"

Andrew Cowdell from Reading-based gallery Angles Of Art was exhibiting at the event for the first time. He said: "The feedback I've received has been fantastic and it's encouraging for any artist to get such a warm welcome. The reaction to all the art is overwhelming."

Nearly 3,000 people visited the fair at Rivermead Leisure Complex, off Richfield Avenue, on Saturday and Sunday, and organiser Deborah James was delighted. She said: "It was the most successful fair yet and some of the artists had the best show they've ever had in their careers."

Adam Tubbs, of Castle Galleries, in Chain Street, said: "It's important for artists to get their name out in the open and this event is a way for them to get money for doing what they love."

Jump to first paragraph.

Get more stories from our Roundup section

24 Apr 2014 12:00 • James Ash

Going back to wartime

HISTORY lovers from across the south came together last weekend as a country manor returned to World War II.


24 Apr 2014 10:30 • Nick Gutteridge

EXCLUSIVE: Opposition growing to plans for a garden city to the south of Reading

FURIOUS neighbours issued a call to arms last night as they vowed to fight “tooth and nail” to stop plans to build a 30,000-home garden city south of Reading.

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Apr 2014 09:42 • James Ash

Tilehurst teen's top score for charity

A DEDICATED teenager has raised nearly £3,000 for a charity football match.


23 Apr 2014 12:00 • Tessa Watkins

V-amping it up at The Oracle

THOUSANDS of screaming fans queued for hours for the chance to meet their favourite band at an eagerly anticipated album signing.


23 Apr 2014 08:00 • Nick Gutteridge

Sex offender sent explicit messages

A REMORSELESS sex offender grinned at the mother of his 12-year-old victim before swaggering from court to start a three year jail sentence.


23 Apr 2014 06:30

Loddon Bridge Park and Ride closed over flood alert

LODDON Bridge Park and Ride has been closed due to a flood alert on the Lower River Loddon.


23 Apr 2014 06:30

Funding boost to help town get active

COUNCIL bosses have announced 11 good causes are set to receive a funding boost as part of a drive to promote sustainable transport across the borough.

Social: Comments0 comments

22 Apr 2014 17:00 • Nick Gutteridge

Candidates get ready for Reading Borough Council election

A BEAUTY queen and a charity fundraiser are among the new candidates joining the election race for seats on Reading Borough Council next month.


22 Apr 2014 16:00

Cash boost for better travel

COUNCIL bosses have announced 11 good causes are set to receive a funding boost as part of a drive to promote sustainable transport across the borough.

Social: Comments1 comment

22 Apr 2014 04:00 • Andrew Belt

Recycling egg boxes in Calcot

A SUPERMARKET is offering customers the chance to recycle Easter egg boxes.


21 Apr 2014 17:00 • James Ash

Good Ofsted mark for a Burghfield primary school

A BURGHFIELD primary school has set its sights on scoring top marks with an education watchdog after boosting its rating.

Social: Comments0 comments

18 Apr 2014 12:00 • James Ash

Burghfield Bowls Club unveils new playing green

THE sun was shining over Burghfield Bowls Club when its new playing green was unveiled.

Social: Comments0 comments

17 Apr 2014 14:00 • Andrew Belt

Shop worker hit round the head by masked robbers in daylight attack in Whitley

A SHOP worker was hit round the head and forced to open a till by masked robbers in a terrifying daylight attack in Whitley.

Social: Comments0 comments

16 Apr 2014 18:00

TRAFFIC UPDATE: Delays of around one hour on M4

ONE lane of the M4 has been closed due to an collision involving two cars.

Social: Comments1 comment

14 Apr 2014 09:30 • Nick Gutteridge

Thames Valley Police in top five forces for stress related absences

THAMES Valley Police is in the top five constabularies for stress related absences in England and Wales, a Freedom of Information request has revealed.

Social: Comments1 comment

14 Apr 2014 08:00 • Andrew Belt

Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading releases film to reassure young patients

AN INNOVATIVE film has been launched to reassure parents about their child’s operation.

Social: Comments0 comments

13 Apr 2014 17:00 • Andrew Belt

Flood victims across Berkshire and Reading back on track thanks to Berkshire Community Foundation

NEIGHBOURS, communities and businesses devastated by some of the worst-ever flooding to hit Berkshire can get their lives back on track with a £150,000 recovery pot.

Social: Comments0 comments

13 Apr 2014 12:00

Street renamed in honour of Reading's only Victoria Cross winner, Trooper Fred Potts

THE courage of Reading’s own war hero was commemorated on Saturday when a road was named after him. Members of Trooper Fred Potts’ family joined relatives of Arthur Andrews – the man he saved – to unveil the new Trooper Potts Way sign, by the Northern Interchange at Reading Station.


13 Apr 2014 08:00 • James Ash

Reading College students grill Reading East MP Rob Wilson on the big issues

ASPIRING broadcasters gave the Newsnight team a run for their money when they fired questions at Reading East MP Rob Wilson.


12 Apr 2014 17:30

Two-car smash on M4

FIREFIGHTERS were called out to a smash on the M4 this morning which injured three people.

Social: Comments0 comments