Alnmouth Arts Festival – one of the most popular events of the year in north Northumberland – continues to go from strength to strength.
And 2014 was no exception as the event, on Saturday and Sunday, saw an estimated 3,500 people visit the seaside village over the weekend.
That meant it even surpassed last year’s record attendance, a fitting achievement for the tenth edition of the festival.
What’s more, it isn’t just the exhibitors who come away from the event satisfied, although many do say that it’s the best event in the calendar.
The festival and the village receive high praise from artists and visitors alike, while some of the businesses in the village say that they’ve had their best-ever weekend’s trading.
Katherine Renton, this year’s winner of the competition run with the Gazette to find the image for the festival’s poster and publicity material, described it as ‘a really positive experience from beginning to end’.
“The Festival Committee and the Gazette have been fantastic in supporting me from the moment I won the poster competition, back in November, to the very end of this festival weekend,” she said.
“It has been the perfect opportunity to showcase my recent paintings and the feedback has been amazing – so many people from near and far who really took the time to look carefully and chat about my work. A truly wonderful weekend.”
Among the other exhibitors were the poster artists from 2012 and 2013 – Hipsburn’s Francesca Simpson and Jane Jackson, from Rock.
“I look forward to the Arts Festival every year,” said Francesca. “It’s always so well organised and well attended – it’s a fantastic opportunity for local artists to display and sell their work and meet lots of new people.”
The festival hosts a range of artists, photographers and craft-workers in a range of mediums with some demonstrating the techniques used and allowing visitors to have a go.
Alex Chylak, from Alnwick, who brought his potter’s wheel to the festival and invited the public to throw a pot, said: “This is one of the best weekends we’ve ever had.
“There have been people from age five to 70 trying their hand.”
With the majority of the exhibitors coming from ‘twixt Tyne and Tweed, the landscapes of the North East and the Northumberland coastline feature heavily, but there are plenty of people doing things a little differently too.
One exhibit which particularly caught my eye later on Sunday afternoon, when there were still hordes of people looking around despite the imminent close, was Sarah Moor’s Lateral Marks.
Born out of an online project through photographic social-media site Instagram, Sarah was displaying hundreds of Polaroid-style pictures of the same thing – Alnmouth’s beach triangle.
Every one was different, taken from different angles in different lights and weathers with a brief caption or description to accompany it. See @moorstours on Instagram or Twitter.
Also over the weekend, there were free children’s activities in Pease Park on both days, while Saturday saw the park host a barbecue and music evening.