A community artwork to celebrate 30 years of the Buxton Festival Fringe was unveiled at Buxton Museum & Art Gallery last Saturday (June 6).
The special event for Fringe Friends and invited guests offered a sneak preview of the completed work, which will be shown at the Museum throughout the Fringe. The Vers@Tile project involved workshops for local people, schools, community groups and Sure Start centres, resulting in a permanent triptych commemorating the history of the Fringe, and combining ceramics, metalwork, painting, printing and textiles. Further workshops will take place during the Fringe on Saturday July 18 (bookings 01298 24658).
In the presence of the Tony Bingham, Mayor of the High Peak, and the Mayoress, Mary Bingham, as well as Peter Meek from the Bingham Trust, Deb Hill, head teacher of Buxton Community School, Mary McNaught from St Thomas More's School and Rebecca Davies from St Anne's School, many of the artists who took part in the workshops came to see the finished results.
One young artist, Alex, from Burbage Primary, described his work with chalk pastels and said the day he spent working on his part of the tile was 'great', while Cameron and Austin, from Buxton Infants and Buxton Juniors, said the project had been 'brilliant' and 'fun'.
Fringe Chair Stephanie Billen said: 'It's lovely to see so many people come and admire the artwork, which is truly spectacular, and which has involved school and community groups from all over Buxton and beyond, working with some of the areas most talented artists.'
Local artist Caroline Chouler-Tissier, one of those managing the project said: 'It's been amazing. The idea of the project came out exactly as we wanted. We always knew the work would be good, but the quality and variety is beyond our expectations. There's always something new to look at in the piece, and your eye makes connections from one tile to the next. And the project has made connections too! It's been great to be involved in this project, celebrating the Fringe's 30th anniversary. Here's to the 40th!'
The Vers@Tile project was able to become a reality thanks to generous funding from Awards For all & The Big Lottery Fund, The Satterthwaite Bequest, The Bingham Trust and Derbyshire County Council. The Fringe as a whole is sponsored by The Unversity of Derby Buxton with additional funding from supporters including The Osborne Group, High Peak Borough Council and The Old Hall Hotel.
The launch also offered an opportunity to promote the brand new, free Fringe programme, currently being distributed throughout the town and beyond and offering full details of the record-breaking 140 plus entries this year. Printed by Peak Press, the programme was designed by Armelle Perrin and features a distinctive cover decorated with programme designs from the past 30 years.
Those unable to pick up a programme can arrange for one to be posted to them - send an A5 SAE to Buxton Festival Fringe, High Gables, Elnor Lane, Whaley Bridge, High peak, Derbyshire, SK23 7EX. Alternatively they can become a Fringe Friend and receive a programme automatically. Details of how to become a Fringe Friend and much more besides are available on http://www.buxtonfringe.org.uk.
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