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See summer differently

PUBLISHED: 11:00 02 September 2014 | UPDATED: 11:00 02 September 2014




2014 sees the county’s sixth Summer of Art, showcasing artists from across Essex and beyond through a series of exhibitions up and down the county — and in some very surprising places too. Over the past five years, a staggering 1,700 artists have had the opportunity to exhibit in art trails across Essex. In 2014, there is once again an exciting programme of exhibitions, workshops and activities, offering something for all the family. Why not be inspired and awaken your creative mind this summer? Here is just a flavour of what you can expect to see…

Bruce McLean: Sculpture, painting, photography, film

June 14 to September 21

firstsite, Lewis Gardens, High Street, Colchester CO1 1JH

This is a major survey of the work of Bruce McLean, who was at the forefront of the development of conceptual art in Britain in the 1960s. Tracing his career across five decades, the exhibition will feature more than 100 works including working drawings and photographs never previously exhibited. Sculpture, painting, photography, drawings, ceramics and film will be presented across seven galleries occupying 855sq m.

Essex Guild

Craft Fairs

August 24 to 25

10.30am to 5.30pm

Early Autumn Craft Weekend

Cressing Temple Barns, Witham Road, Braintree CM77 8PD

Entrance £4.50 adults, with accompanied under 16’s free.

September 27 to 28

10am to 5pm

Early Autumn Craft Weekend

Grange Barn, Grange Hill, 
Coggeshall CO6 1RE

Entrance £3.50

The Essex Guild of Craftsmen was established in 1984 to promote and support genuine handmade local crafts. This summer see’s the guild’s two flagship craft weekends in August and September. Members are selected for the outstanding quality and originality of their work and currently the guild has a membership of 200 craftsmen. Each year the guild organises craft fairs throughout Essex, but don’t miss these exciting highlights.

Sculpture Trail

September 1 to 28

7.30am to 8pm

Sculpture Trail

September 28

11am to 5pm

Art in the Park

Hylands Park, London Road, Chelmsford CM2 8WQ

Art is coming to Hylands Park this September as it hosts a brand new event — The September Sculpture Trail. Wander through the beautiful surroundings of Hylands Park and discover a trail of stunning sculptures. The event is free and fully accessible.

Then there is Art in the Park, a one-day celebration of the creativity and talent of our local artists which will take place on Sunday, September 28. Why not come and meet the artists, see them demonstrate their skills and take the opportunity to buy unique artworks directly from the artists?

Loughton Art Trail

September 6 to 14

Various locations throughout the town

Loughton is a bustling town, best known for its quirky boutiques and glamorous image. However, there is a different side to Loughton. Artists as diverse as Jacob Epstein and Walter Spradbery have found inspiration in the forest landscapes and today Loughton is home to a thriving artistic community. Focusing on the thriving visual arts scene, Loughton’s first art trail will pay homage to the rich heritage of the many famous artists who lived in and around the town, with art on display along Loughton High Road as well as Debden Broadway, in pubs and other buildings across the town.

Thurrock Art Trail

September 7 to 21

11am to 5pm

Various locations across Thurrock

Thurrock Art Trail has grown considerably since its inception in 2012, with more venues opening and many more artists participating. Spread over three weekends, artist groups based in Grays, Horndon on the Hill, Stanford le Hope and towns and villages in between will be taking part. This year the trail features talks, performance art and other events.

The finale at High House in Purfleet will provide the opportunity to talk to artists and artisans working in their studios and you can follow a sculpture trail in the shadow of the QE2 Bridge and see a specially commissioned installation in a former farmyard stable.

Jaywick Martello 
Tower Coastal Open

September 12 to November 2

Open in September (Wed to Fri, 10am to 5pm) and October (weekends only, 10.30am to 3.30pm)

Jaywick Martello Tower, The Promenade, Belsize Avenue, 
Jaywick CO15 2LF

Jaywick Martello Tower opened in 2005 as an arts venue and has hosted many successful local and international art exhibitions and workshops. The mixture of the unique architecture and stunning coastline of Jaywick has inspired artists, creating an active arts scene. This is the fifth year of the Coastal Open giving local artists another chance to display their talents in art and crafts in the unique location of a Martello Tower and giving a platform for the community to creatively express their views.

Rochford Art Trail

September 18 to 27

Various locations

Rochford’s award-winning Art Trail showcases creative talent and diverse artworks in shops and public spaces around the medieval market town of Rochford. Guided walking tours and a pop-up arts and crafts market await visitors to one of the county’s most popular trails. Close to the Essex south coast and nestled in the countryside, Rochford offers a perfect day out and an alternative experience for art lovers. Rochford Art Trail scooped two awards at the 2013 Towns Alive National Awards, recognising how the trail combines creativity with new twists and turns to attract visitors to the historic town of Rochford.

The Essex Craft & Design Show

September 27 & 28

Cressing Temple Barns, Witham Road, Braintree CM77 8PD

Craftsmen and artists will be selling and demonstrating a wide range of work, including fine art, photography, ceramics, jewellery and many other contemporary crafts. This is more than just a craft show as all work is designed and made by exhibitors, giving you the opportunity to meet working artists and buy unique pieces of work.

Maldon Art Trail

September 27 to October 4

Various venues around Maldon town centre with The Maeldune Centre, Plume Building, Market Hill, Maldon, Essex CM9 4PZ as the central venue

Sculpture Trail at the Museum of Power, Langford CM9 6QA

10am to 4pm, closed Sunday, September 28

Maldon is an historic maritime town and a popular tourist destination on the River Blackwater. Maldon Art Trail started in 2008 and has grown to be an established event in the town, exhibiting works in shops and businesses. The art trail includes a broad variety of artists’ work including paintings, drawings, sculpture, photography, ceramics, glass-blowing, jewellery and textiles.

Hadleigh Art Trail

October 3 to 11

Various venues

Hadleigh, famous for the ruins of its 13th century castle as depicted by John Constable, was host venue for the London 2012 Olympic Games Mountain Biking event. Now in its 4th year, its art trail sees local artists exhibit in shops, businesses and public spaces in Hadleigh town centre showcasing fine art, photography, sculpture and ceramics. Hadleigh Old Fire Station, now a popular community and arts venue, is home to more than 15 artists in working studios and a large community hall. This iconic building provides a focal point for the trail.


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