Carlisle June 2015 and Skipton August 2015
Wow, what an amazing transformation took place, cattle pens at the Auction Mart at Carlisle (June) and Skipton (August) were turned into wonderful mini-galleries. There was a great selection of beautiful art, ceramics, glass, wood, wirework, textiles and jewellery on show. An opportunity for visitors to meet the artists and designer-makers in their pens, chat with them about their work, and purchase pieces.
This year, the Art in the Pen at Skipton celebrated its 10th Anniversary. I’ve heard many good things about it, but getting selected for it hasn’t been easy. To apply you have to send your artist CV, artist statement, and some images of your work. Thankfully my persistence has paid off and it was 3rd time lucky, especially as they had over 450 applicants for those 160 spaces!
As a first time ‘penner’, sorting out how to display your work in a pen is a bit of a learning curve… normally I only have a 6ft table to display my work at events and I’m not used to having a blank canvas, quite a large empty pen to magically transform. So many things to take into consideration; how to cover the sides of the pen, how many tables to use, how to get some height into your display, the lighting, where to sit, plus how to fit it all in your car and carry it all to the pen.
The Carlisle Art in the Pen was a brilliant test-run and opportunity to see how the other artists had used their pen space.
At the Skipton Art in the Pen, it took me; 4 sheets to cover the sides of my pen, 3 tables used in an L shape, 2 new wall displays I’d created using material combined with old frames and I sat tucked away next to my making/leaflets/packing table.
It was really rewarding that my pen display got some great compliments from both visitors and stallholders alike, especially my wooden display table (it’s my work-table I use for doing wirework at my studio, I originally discovered it outside my local charity shop) and my new up-cycled frame displays.
My wirework jewellery and glasswork also got some great compliments and, even better, many pieces went off to new homes.
It was a brilliant experience to take part in the Art in the Pen events, I enjoyed meeting people that liked my designs and work, catching up with visiting friends and making new friends. I’m there at the new Craft in Pen event in November and fingers crossed will be back again at the Art in the Pen events next year.
Hopefully, even more, people will come along and help support these events, take the opportunity to meet the makers and artists, help to publicise them, and buy some local handmade arts and crafts.
Sam Rowena x