The curtain came down on Lytham Arts Festival with participants and traders eagerly looking forward to an even bigger and better repeat performance next year.
And artworks and photographs on display at various shops and other premises throughout the inaugural festival are to be featured in an exhibition at the Fylde Gallery, above the Booths store in Haven Road, from this weekend until the end of the month.
Displays at more than 30 venues around the town were judged by a panel including Fylde mayor Coun Kevin Eastham, and prizes were awarded to Chris Beard of Chris Beard Photography, singer/songwriter Leoni Jane Kennedy, artist Steve Bruce, street performers Izzy Binnion and Morgan Marshall, while the ‘selfie’ competition was won by Elizabeth Clarkson.
Festival organiser Richard Marshall said: “It was wonderful to see how the traders and participants worked together to make it a success.
“The artists delivered so many original, eye-catching and crowd-pleasing performances or exhibitions, and it was an incredibly difficult task for the judging panel, with more than 50 artists taking part during the eight days. I would like to thank the judges for their time and consideration – the prizes gave added excitement to the festival.”
“Planning for next year’s festival will get under way soon, but in the meantime artworks and photos from this year’s event will be on display at the Fylde gallery from Saturday until to July 31.”
Andrew Fallow, chairman of the Business Partnership, said: “Well done to Richard for all the hard work he put into the event, and to everyone who contributed. It brought a wonderful atmosphere to the town.
“We are already looking forward to next year. It is the ideal lead-in to Club Day.”
Mark Nelson, the Fylde rugby coach, painted in the window of Stringers store during the Festival, as well as singing at the Station Tavern.
He said: “It was a fantastic event, and I am sure it will grow in future years. It was very well supported, and Richard did a great job in engaging local artists and performers and laying on such a wide-ranging programme. I was proud to be involved.”
The Lytham St Annes Art Society Studio in Haven Road was open to the public throughout the Festival, and attracted hundreds of visitors to browse artworks on display as well as a craft fair.
Organisers Peter Dixon and Barbara Waite said: ‘It was marvellous for our members to chat to the public, who were very enthusiastic about what we do – and it was delightful when pupils from St Annes College Grammar School joined a portrait workshop producing some lovely pictures.”
Visitors also got the chance to vote for their favourite exhibit, and the winner was Jane Rigby’s Calm Before the Storm.
An oil painting of Lytham Hall, kindly donated by member Ken Roberts, was won by Joyce Williams of Blackpool.
Sales of crafts and pictures, topped up with refreshment sales and donations, came to almost £1,000 with a percentage going to charity, added Barbara.