Tonbridge Art Fair returns in style after successful launch

Tonbridge Art Fair returns in style after successful launch
CULTURAL OFFERING: Zsuzsanna Pataki gives a demonstration last year

The free exhibition will run from 10am to 6pm with 22 artists on display. Some of them will be on hand to demonstrate their work and talk about their creations.

Christine Highland will be producing her stylised maps of Tonbridge town and other local areas, while Zsuzsanna Pataki will be painting large abstracts as she did last year.

The fair is the brainchild of three local artists, Anne Molineux, Sue Vass and Jill Goldsworthy, who were all founder members of the Artspring Gallery on the High Street.

They used to organise Art on the Railings, where artists hung their work around Castle Lawn, and are all members of the 4Art Group, who exhibit their work at Tonbridge Castle every autumn.

Mrs Molineux said: “Last year’s event was such a great success, enjoyed both by the artists, who thought the venue of River Walk was fabulous, and the many, many visitors who were glad to have the opportunity to meet and talk with the artists.

“The fair is a great asset to the town and we hope it will be a regular annual event.’

BUILD A REPUTATION: Steve Everest specialises in architectural topics

It was set up in 2018 to help bring art to the attention of local people. The town has played host to a burgeoning art scene with two pop-up arts and crafts tenancies known as Tonbridge Creates.

These were held over several weeks in a vacant shop on Angel Walk with the second edition featuring an exhibition called Terra Nostra, which showcased the work of nine local artists.

Mrs Goldsworthy said: “Tonbridge definitely needs more provision to showcase artists. The creative talent is here but there’s no purpose-built arts centre.

“Tunbridge Wells and Sevenoaks both have designated spaces in Trinity and Kaleidoscope. It is pitiful that there is so little opportunity to create a permanent exhibition space in such a large town, which is obviously hungry for art.”

She added: “There will be even more artists this year, showing paintings, drawings, sculpture, jewellery, glass, ceramics and more.

“Visitors can watch some of the artists at work and have a chance to chat with them – some local and some not so local. It promises to be an enjoyable day out by the River Medway.”

Local talent: Three to see

Robert Ketch of Tonbridge-based RK Jewellery Designs works mainly in silver and has a passion for the natural world, recreating organic forms strictly as they occur.

Steve Everest is a local watercolour artist who specialises in architectural commissions that are now hanging around the worldwide. All of his paintings are available as prints.

Zsuzsanna Pataki paints impressionistic scenes of well-known city locations – as well as highly regarded images of water lily ponds. She will be offering portraits in live sittings or from photos.

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