Enjoy the Chichester Art Trail treasures coming up!

Art-lovers can get a taste of this year's Chichester Art Trail at a special preview exhibition at Chichester's Oxmarket Gallery.

Nicola Hancock
Nicola Hancock

The preview runs from Tuesday-Sunday, April 24-29 – the ideal appetiser for the trail itself which runs on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, May 5, 6, 7 and then Saturday and Sunday, May 12 and 13 when the studios will be open from 10.30am-5.30pm each day.

Trail guide booklets, which contain the listing of all artists and their venues, are available from the Oxmarket and other central locations or can be downloaded from www.chichesterarttrail.org. You can also visit the website to research artists and their studio locations before you begin your trail.

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2018 represents a new chapter in the event’s history with artist Nicola Hancock taking over the running from Malcolm Macdonald

Nicola said she was proud to add what she could to a rich annual event: “After eight years of organising and nurturing the trail, Malcolm has passed this thriving vehicle for the promotion of local artists and the enjoyment of thousands of visitors over to me.”

He hands her an event in good health, with a remarkable 172 artists taking part, not quite a record but around a couple of dozen up on last year.

“It is a huge vehicle for artists. It is a gallery with legs, and I would like to think that I can add to it in terms of promotion.

“Not all of the artists are perhaps brave enough to approach the big galleries, and this enables them to show their work in a way that they can feel safe with, and all the artists are greater together than they are on their own.

“I have done the trail for the past seven years, and it is a great way of getting your work out there. It brings you an audience that you just wouldn’t have otherwise. It helps with the profile and presence of Chichester artists.

“If you are an artist, it is the kind of thing that you really should consider doing. The artists registered in November, and we have got a good number. This year we have got 50 new ones. Some people fall away or go away and come back again. People tend to come and go, but certainly this year we have got 50 artists who have never done it before, which is great. It is really good to have a rolling body of people every year, just to keep it fresh and varied.”

Nicola is promising a wide range of talents. Certainly there will be painters and sculptors, just as you would expect; but there will also be glass-blowers, illustrators, ceramicists, potters and photographers – all part of a rich mix for people to explore.

Nicola will expect to have around 600 visits to her own studio over the trail – around 100 a day:.

“So you are talking constantly, and that is good because it makes you think about what you do. It makes you clarify your practice in your mind, and talking to people is so much better than hanging pictures in a gallery where the pictures are just talking to themselves.

“I think being able to talk to the artist adds a lot more meaning for the visitors. And it gets away from the elitist white-wall feeling that you can get in a gallery, just as it does for the artists that are exhibiting. You can say to the visitors ‘This is me. Take it or leave it, but this is me.’ It is a great experience for everybody.”

For more information: [email protected]; or see www.chichesterarttrail.org for full Chichester Art Trail details.

For other stories by Phil, see: https://www.chichester.co.uk/author/Phil.Hewitt2