HOLMFIRTH seems to have become the festival capital of the region.
The town is home to many artists, performers and musicians and in recent weeks we’ve had festivals focussing on films, brass music, folk and the arts in general.
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It is testament to the creativity that seems to seep through every corner of the Holme Valley that festivals and art markets now fill many weeks through the summer.
But the most established of them all is still to come and what a humdinger it promises to be.
Holmfirth artWEEK, now in its 47th year, looks set to be another record-breaker. It has started by having 35 fringe venues which according to officials is up on last year.
It means that in addition to the 400 artists whose work will pack Holmfirth Civic Hall for a week starting on July 7, there will be art on display in venues across the Holme Valley, from shops, libraries, cafes, galleries, an ironmongers, a tennis club and Holmfirth’s very own vineyard.
There’s a similar spread of talent on show in the main exhibition and in the fringe venues.
Spokesman Richard Raby said: “We will have every kind of art and craftwork on show. Paintings, photographs, ceramics, woodwork, textiles, jewellery.
“And we’ve got a lovely mix of established people and some people who have never exhibited with us before.
“It is why we run the public entry system because it gives everyone a chance of showing their work in ArtWEEK.
“Visitors can see things by people they are familiar with and also by people whose work they may not have seen before. It keeps the exhibition fresh.”
Some artists will have work on show in the Civic Hall but also at the many fringe venues which spread beyond Holmfirth to Meltham, Honley, Thongsbridge, Holme and Armitage Bridge.
Each year, the organisers invite a featured artist to take over the upper floor of the Civic Hall which is called the Trevor Stubley Gallery in memory of the artist who was a great supporter of artWEEK.
Jim Robison, whose remarkable ceramics have long graced the show, has been chosen this year.
“I was asked just after last year’s artWEEK and I’m delighted,” he said.
“It’s given me a year to prepare. But it’s a big space.
Jim, who is originally from Missouri, has lived in the hills above Holmfirth since the mid Seventies and it didn’t take this internationally regarded ceramics maker and sculptor long to get involved with artWEEK.
“We came to Holmfirth in March 1975 and if I didn’t exhibit that year then I certainly did the next.”
And Jim’s striking ceramics have proved a big hit with exhibition visitors ever since.
“I’ve always tried to run my own summer show at my gallery (Booth House Gallery) every year to coincide with artWEEK,” he said.
“This year, Moz Khokhar will be presenting his own one-man show of ceramics there.”
Over the years, artWEEK has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for Macmillan Cancer Support. It is run by volunteers and attracts thousands of people to the Holme Valley.
There’s a preview night on July 6 and the public days open on Sunday July 7 running until July 13.
There is a handy artWEEK pocket guide covering all the venues, including a map, which is available from libraries, tourist information and other outlets.
Alternatively, go to the website, www.holmfirthartweek.org.uk to check who is exhibiting and where.