Dreaming of the Steyning Art Trail

Under normal circumstances, you would have just been enjoying the delights of the 2020 Steyning Art Trail, which were scheduled for the last two weekends of May. A time for local artists and art lovers to celebrate!
We had a busy trail map of venues all ready to go, with the usual eclectic mix of quirky houses and hidden gardens lined up for you to visit. We had a bright and airy new group venue - the Hub in Upper Beeding - ready to unveil. Months of preparation by our 60+ artists had been coming to a creative crescendo. And don’t forget the delicious homemade cakes.

If only! Like art trails everywhere, we had to shelve our plans for the Steyning Art Trail this year. But we invite you to close your eyes and dream of Art Trails past and Art Trails still to come. And we have some suggestions on how you can remind yourself of some of the fantastic art that is waiting for you to enjoy.

Make up your own virtual art trail:
Needless to say our artists haven't been sitting on their hands during lockdown. Many have been busy in their studios, and more productive than ever. If you'd like a taster of the wonderful talent in our midst, take a peek at the Artists Pages on the website, where you can go on a virtual art trail of your own making. There are contact details listed for all the artists, so if anything catches your eye - you know what to do (hint!).

Talent spotting via social media:
For those of you on Instagram and Facebook, we've been working hard to freshen up our online presence. Following @steyningarts on Instagram, and liking our Facebook page, is a good place to start. Both of these feature regular posts of new work by Steyning Arts members. And of course, you can follow your favourites direct.

The power of a hashtag: #artistsupportpledge:
Have you come across this initiative to support the artistic community during lockdown? It's an artist-led movement on Instagram that supports artists of all types, including makers, during Covid-19. It was founded by artist Matthew Burrows in March this year.

The idea is that for artists to post their images using the #artistsupportpledge hashtag and give details of their works and price to a maximum of £200. If people are interested in buying, they message (DM) the artist. Every time an artist reaches £1,000 of sales, they pledge to buy £200 of work from other artist(s). This spirit of mutual support and generosity is enabling artists to maintain a vital income stream at a time when most sales channels have disappeared overnight. There have been 185,000 posts already on Instagram, so its turning into a bit of a movement.

Several Steyning Arts members have picked up on this and are tagging work #artistsupportpledge on their posts. We've created a companion hashtag #steyningartspledge so you can use this to see which of our members are taking part.

Plans for the rest of the year:

These are all hold, for obvious reasons, but here's what's in the calendar at the moment:
• We have our inaugural Steyning Portrait Competition pencilled in for Saturday October 10th. This is due to be held at St Andrew's Church in Steyning, and is being organised in collaboration with the talent-packed Art Department at Steyning Grammar School.
• And the Steyning Centre is still booked on Saturday December 5th for our ever-popular Xmas Gift Fair, which this year we're planning to combine with an art exhibition in the Saxon Room. We'll be making a decision nearer the time on whether we can go ahead with these and will let you know. But why not pop the dates in your diary and join us in crossing our fingers that the health emergency will have abated enough for us to get going again with live events.

Amanda Duke and Jenny Wightwick - co-chairs Steyning Arts
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