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BLOG: Printfest!

BLOG: Printfest!

Printfest – the Northern Hub for all things printmaking

On the weekend of the 4-5th of May, The Coronation Hall will once again be hosting Printfest- the UK’s foremost artist-led print festival. But what is printfest, and what is it all about?

I asked Sally Bamber, the event’s chair, a few questions about printfest.

Q- How long has Printfest been running for
A- “Printfest was started in 2001. It was born out of conversations between artists gathering in the upstairs room over the Tinners’ Rabbit picture framing shop on Market Street, run by Chris Benefield.”

Q- How many artists do you have exhibiting
A- “For 2019 there will 49 artists exhibiting on 48 stands. One stand is shared by 2 artists who work in collaboration, a fascinating method with remarkable results.”

Q- Is Printfest just for artists and art enthusiasts?
A- “I like this question in particular because I often hear people say that they don’t know anything about art, and the lovely thing is that people don’t need to know anything about art, or about printmaking!” “Printfest is an amazing opportunity to engage with the art, talk to the artists, take part in workshops and learn more about how artists make their work.”

Q- What can people who don’t know much about prints learn from the festival
A- “At Printfest both the artists and the Printfest Team offer explanations about the printmaking process. The artists enjoy explaining how they work and their particular printmaking methods, and this year you will find A2 posters up about each of the printmaking methods being used by the artists. In our Visitors’ Survey last year, we had so many comments regarding the generosity of artists to share their printmaking practises and tips.”

Q- What does Printfest offer to the tow
A- “Printfest is the foremost artists-led arts festival bringing in artists from across the UK and abroad. It also attracts 1,600 to 1,700 people to Ulverston from all over the country and beyond. Half of the visitors are not local and have to stay somewhere and eat and drink!”

Q- What do you personally think are the values of Printfest
A- “I have spent many hours thinking about this over the 8 years that I have been part of the Printfest Team, this is what I believe are the simple values: To make our visitors feel welcome and to make our artists feel valued. The vision is to become a Northern Hub for all things Printmaking. To provide an event that everyone wants to visit and encourages people to get more involved in a creative process.

Q- Why should artists sell their art at Printf
A- “Printfest is there to enable artists to sell their work directly to the public, as opposed to selling their work in a gallery or through an intermediary” “Artists make their living by selling their work, they attend events all over the country to do this, so it is important that Printfest makes them feel valued, that we remain cost-effective for them while offering them an engaging environment and an interested audience. It also enables everyone to purchase affordable art, which gives us joys and improves all our lives.

Q-Can repeat visitors to Printfest expect anything new this year, or in the coming yea
A- “For 2019 Printfest has brought back workshops for visitors. There are half-day workshops during the weekend, these are being delivered by Tutors who are members of Cumbria Printmakers, they will take place in a marquee that will be to the right of the Coro.

Tickets went on sale two weeks ago and have sold out!
There will also be four full-day workshops after the weekend, these will go on sale in March.”

So, why should you go to printfest? As Sally said to me, “Art is a personal reaction”- it’s important to all of us and you don’t have to be an expert to appreciate it!
The event will be at 10am on both days, with a small entry fee of £5. We hope to see you there!

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