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Shropshire's Secret Severn Art Trail extending run after record visitor numbers despite pandemic

By Deborah Hardiman | Telford | Attractions | Published:

The Secret Severn Art Trail is being extended with an new exhibition on show after a record-braking number of visitors and sales of artists’ work.

Organisers are celebrating the best year ever for the popular free event held in the Jackfield area of the Ironbridge Gorge attracted more than 1,200 people over a ten-day period.

The showcase of artists and studios will be remaining open for two more long weekends this month to give art lovers a another chance to enjoy work from the best local names while soaking up the beautiful World Heritage Site scenery.

The trail will be open from Friday 18 to Sunday and from September 25 to 27.

Returning visitors will have plenty more to see as the team has replaced the main exhibition at the Footprint Gallery, Fusion, next to the Jackfield Tile Museum after many of the initial items got sold. There will be more than 40 new pieces of work on display

Secret Severn Art Trail chairman Rod Sheppard said: “We are thrilled that so many people have visited the trail, that they have taken home work by the artists, and that we have been able to extend the event with a fresh new exhibition.

“We’re all the more grateful as the event was in doubt due to coronavirus, but once restrictions were lifted we could plan an event with more artists and venues than ever before. We’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who has come along and made it a success - and urge more people to take up this new opportunity to enjoy the work of hugely talented artists in this amazing setting.”

More than 1,250 people from across the UK visited the trail between September 3 and 13 which was an increase of more than 40 per cent on last year, while sales were up by 130 per cent on 2019.

While the pop-up studios at Jackfield Village Hall will not be re-opening for the extended period, but visitors can see artists at work in open studios including Jan Park Art, next to the Tile Museum, and at Maws Craft entre.

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Studios will also be open at Ironbridge Fine Arts and Framing at Merrythought Village, the Bolthole at the Wharfage in Ironbridge, and the Angel Gallery in Broseley.

The exhibition will be open from 10am to 5pm each day.

“A brilliant idea”, “inspiring work” and “magical exhibits” are some of the wordscshared by visitors to this year’s event so far.

Artists will continue to sell a whole range of products from greeting cards, jewellery,ceramics, original paintings and drawings to sculpture, photographs, prints andtcextiles - for all budgets.

The trail will run alongside the Festival of Imagination celebrating the Ironbridge Gorge. For further information, please visit www.secretsevern.co.uk.

Deborah Hardiman

By Deborah Hardiman
@Deborahh_Star

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star based out of the head office in Ketley. Covering the Telford area.

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