Art Week organised by Royal Tunbridge Wells Together begins next week, and as Sarah Bond finds out, there are a range of free activities for young and old alike…
A programme of arts and crafts-related classes, workshops and online talks will be offered to the public or free through Royal Tunbridge Wells Together’s inaugural Art Week from August 22-29, with 547 spaces available to secure a place. And book now because places are going fast.
The activities for both adults and children organised by the Business Improvement District (BID) members include photography classes and watercolour painting on The Pantiles, making moving toys with Whirligig Toys at the Amelia Scott cultural centre, hand-tied bouquet floristy workshops at The Cove, bath bomb-making at Lush, design-a-duck at Manic Ceramix, embroidery, still life, millinery, and glass-making at Glass by Claudia.
‘Tunbridge Wells is such an aesthetically pleasing town, and has such a high concentration of makers, artists and creative businesses’
Sessions take place in businesses represented by the BID across the town centre.
Sarah-Jane Adams, the BID Director for the organisation Royal Tunbridge Wells Together, explains how she designed the concept of Art Week to showcase the town’s creativity:
“Tunbridge Wells is such an aesthetically pleasing town, and has such a high concentration of makers, artists and creative businesses, as well as a long history of being immortalised in works of art.
“We wanted to highlight some of these businesses and allow families and individuals to come into the town centre to enjoy a free activity, learn a new skill and discover a new local business.” she says.
“We hope there’s a range of options for everyone, whether you’re an art buff or if stick figures are your limit!”
Telling the Times more about local businesses’ involvement in this unusual and inventive opportunity, and the public’s enthusiastic response so far, she added:
“I’m really pleased with the response to Art Week at its launch, we’ve had a large number of booking enquiries, and some activities are now full, which is fantastic – the participants so far range from age two to people in their 70s, which is a great indication of the range of creative opportunities available within our town centre.”
“We’re also pleased to see that individuals are coming along to meet new people, mothers and daughters are having days out, and families and friends are coming in groups, so we hope these sessions will bring people together and encourage new friendships, while discovering a new hobby or a new business that customers weren’t previously aware of,” she explains.
“Longer term, we’d love to make this an annual event and grow it to become an item in the calendar that residents and visitors look forward to – we were glad to see such a positive response to supporting town centre hospitality through our first Cake Off event in June, and it’d be great to do the same for our crafters, makers and fashionistas.
“Our businesses have been really enthusiastic in getting involved, and have been imaginative in their approach to the types of activities on offer – where else can you make a bath bomb and then paint a watercolour scape of the Pantiles in the same week?” Sarah-Jane says.
One business owner taking part is Phil Reid of The Cove in the High Street, who said: “The Cove are super excited to be involved in Art Week. We think it’s a fantastic idea to be able to provide people the opportunity to learn something new, discover a new talent, and do that through town centre businesses.”
To book, please email the title of the activity, time and date of the session, and the full names of those who would like to take part to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Parents/guardians must be present at all activities for children. All places are first come, first served.
The full programme of events can be found at: rtwtogether.com/artweek