Shropshire Star

Summer of art reaches its finale with range of events in market town

The town of Oswestry is celebrating creativity in its many forms in a Summer of Art.

Mayor Councillor Ollie Rose with artists at the launch of Love Oswestry

The programme takes its inspiration from the 2023 Heritage Open Days theme, ‘Creativity Unwrapped’.

Oswestry’s Cultural Consortium, the group that organised February’s Love Oswestry festival, has ‘artified’ Oswestry for the entire summer with a finale built around the Heritage Open Days festival, September 8-17.

The centrepiece of Oswestry’s Summer of Art is the ART-efact exhibition.

ART-efact is funded by Arts Council England and Oswestry’s Cultural Consortium and is led by local artist Holly Maries. ART-efact has recruited four local artists to work with Oswestry’s cultural partners and places, telling the stories of the town through their work using collections housed at Oswestry Town Archives and Oswestry Town Museum to inspire their art.

Emma Cummings, Jean Atkin, Joseph Schneider and Paul Bohanna will showcase their work in the 2-week exhibition, taking place at Shropshire Cycle Hub at Cross Market Hall during Heritage Open Days. The exhibition will include paintings, poetry, ceramics and design.

In addition to the ART-efact exhibition, there are several events that celebrate Oswestry arts and culture during September’s HODS festival. ‘The Lettermen’ film will be shown at Designs in Mind on September 9 at 12, 1 and 2pm, followed by a question and answer session. The eight-minute film presents the love story of two soldiers during the Second World War, one of whom was based in Shropshire. Gilbert Bradley and Gordon Bowsher defied the law to write more than 600 letters to each other during the war, which were bought at auction by Oswestry Town Museum.

On September 12, local historian Sandy Best will lead a gentle walk of the town and share stories of Oswestry’s poets and authors.

Oswestry Museum is open extended hours throughout the festival, St Oswald’s Church Tower will be open for tours and Cambrian Heritage Railway and Tanat Valley Railways have a whole range of activities, including a monorail, guided tours and access to the signal box – all completely free!

Culture Fest takes place in the streets of Oswestry on September 9 from 10.30am to 1:30pm and celebrates Oswestry’s vibrant and diverse communities with drop-in arts workshops, music and dance performances for all the family to enjoy.

Further afield, there are events at Llanymynech Limeworks, Lllanfyllin Union Workhouse and at most surrounding National Trust properties.

Oswestry guided walking tours are held every Saturday at 11am from the Tourist Information Centre during September.

For more details on all of these events, follow Love Oswestry social media pages

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