The arts events season is officially upon us. As you can see below, we can’t move for art fairs, trails, exhibitions and open studios, including of course our very own Art on the Street. These events are a real labour of love for the organisers and are months and months in the planning to ensure that every element goes like clockwork on the day. Or in the case of Bucks Open Studios and others, every day for a fortnight!
At Art on the Street HQ we pull together anywhere in the region of 175-200 people to deliver a single day of art and entertainment in Maidenhead Town Centre. The months in the run-up are spent engaged in the highly unglamorous tasks of building spreadsheets, budgeting, printing, marketing, website/social media updates and sending and receiving literally thousands of emails. Even we can’t quite believe the work involved.
Our choice of location for Art on the Street certainly isn’t without its challenges; we meticulously plan the layout of the event with stringent repeated checks on our emergency vehicle access and with the utmost consideration for the retailers who are kind enough to allow us to swarm onto their home for the day. We move heavy equipment and staging in and out of a functioning High Street where pedestrian safety is paramount. On the day, at the crack of dawn, the team climb ladders, heave panels and drag gazebos, sustaining impressive cuts, bruises and grazes until the event is up and waiting to be filled with beautiful artwork, great music and lots of happy visitors.
And when the remaining artwork is packed away the ladders come out again. Gazebos are dragged into vans, display panels carried two-by-two back into storage and bruises are added to bruises. We feel a rollercoaster of happy, exhausted, triumphant, shattered.
So we head to the pub and plan the next one.
Art on the Street: 14th June (@artonthestreet)
Bucks Open Studios: 7th -22nd June (@bucksopenstudio)
Caversham Arts Trail: 16th -18th May (@cavartstrail)
Reading Arts Week: 14th – 22nd June (@rdgartsweek)
Oxfordshire Art Weeks: Until 26th May (@oxonartweeks)
Jo Hall ‘River & Riviera’ at Norden Farm until 8th June (@nordenfarm)
John Percy ‘Variations on a Theme’ at Elizabeth House Gallery, Cookham from 2nd -27th June
Mobeen Anwar at The Rendezvous, Town Hall until 26th May
Katherine Mitchell at The Rendezvous, Town Hall from 2nd -27th June