Art in the Park 2019
The 50th annual 'Art in the Park' in Cheltenham will start on Saturday 22nd June 2019 and runs for 4 weeks, until Sunday 21st July, with different artists exhibiting their work each week.
We opened on Saturday 22nd June 2019 with a fabulous ceremony, featuring renowned artist Dr P.J. Crook giving the keynote address. Here are a couple of photographs from the 'Art in the Park' 50th celebration party, taken by photographer Paul Bentley, featuring our organising committee and honoured guests. What a fabulous day!
The event is organised and run by the artists themselves, and admission to the public is free. We are open from 10am to 7.30pm daily (we have adjusted our opening times from those previously published due to parking restrictions recently imposed in the evening along the Promenade. A seating area is now open in front of the open air bar - run by the Town Hall - allowing visitors to relax and enjoy a peaceful drink whilst at the exhibition. This year's event will also run alongside a Music Festival event scheduled for the weekend of 6-7 July in Imperial Gardens.
Please contact Jo Hurlston if you would like to exhibit with us in 2019 or 2020. Application packages for 2020 will be sent out by email/post in early March. Please also be aware that there are plans to develop the Quadrangle building immediately behind our pitch (see image above). This may include some landscaping of this part of the Imperial Gardens which could impact future exhibitions.
We now have a Facebook page, to keep up with the latest news, paintings and features: www.facebook.com/cheltenhamartinthepark
There will be four separate one week exhibitions to run consecutively:
WEEK 1 Saturday 22nd June to Sat 29th June inclusive (8 days)
WEEK 2 Sunday 30th June to Saturday 6th July inclusive (7 days)
WEEK 3 Sunday 7th July to Saturday 13th July inclusive (7 days)
WEEK 4 Sunday 14th July to Sunday 22nd July inclusive (8 days)
Our thanks go to our sponsors, Midwinters Solicitors, for their continuing support last year. Thanks also to Radio Gloucestershire and The Gloucestershire Echo for mentioning us on air and on-line. Here's a selection of the many local media web-pages where we're listed, with many thanks to all concerned:
About the Exhibition
The Cotswolds town of Cheltenham Spa is well known for its annual Festival, which incorporates Literature, Music and the Arts, as well as an acclaimed Science Festival. The Art in the Park Exhibition is an additional attraction in the town during the festival and has been running each year since 1969. It showcases the art of over 100 locals painters over a 4 week period, and is organised by an Exhibition Committee of eleven artists. The Committee is voluntary and exists only to organise Art in the Park (which was previously known as 'Cheltenham Open Air Art Exhibition', until about 2011).
The Exhibition is open to all local artists and is not based upon the individual merit of the artwork: Application forms are sent out in mid-March to artists who have exhibited recently or who expressed an interest in participating. The available screens are then allocated to applicants on a first come, first served basis. The work exhibited covers a spectrum of talent, incorporating professional artists and relative beginners alike. This format is very popular with the artists themselves, and the event is always over-subscribed.
The event is also very popular with the people of Cheltenham. It provides a colourful annual pageant of original artwork, and offers the potential for real bargains: the commission charged by the event is small compared with that charged by Galleries (who have far higher overheads), and this is reflected in the prices of the artwork on offer.
Typically you can expect to pay half the price you would be charged in a gallery!
Saying that, staging this event is becoming an increasingly expensive activity. The cost of the mandatory public liability insurance has followed the general trend in insurance premiums over the last few years; rapid escalation. The scaffolding is also expensive. The event is funded by fees paid by the artists themselves, and the levies taken from the sale of their paintings, which are currently 10%.
In effect, the Exhibition is reliant upon the commercial success of its exhibiting artists to maintain itself each year.
The economics of the event is thus market-led and driven by the art-lovers of Cheltenham and its environs. We owe them a debt of thanks for their support down the years, and hope to continue to offer them excellent quality and value for years to come.