When: 29th & 30th April 2017
Where: Coronation Hall, Ulverston, Cumbria
£: Admission costs £4
What is it?
Printfest, one of the UK’s foremost artist-led printmaking festivals is returning bigger and better than ever this weekend, after taking its first break in 15 years.
Held annually in Ulverston, Printfest is dedicated to the exhibition and sale of contemporary hand-made prints, and offers the opportunity for the best of the UK’s (and beyond) printmakers to gather under one roof, to share practice and learn from each other.
The weekend event offers visitors the chance to view and purchase art works, to meet the artists and to learn more about printmaking. It attracted more than 1,600 visitors in 2015, boosting Ulverston’s economy and raising its profile to a range of people who might not otherwise visit the town, or even South Lakeland.
There will be 48 artists showing their work at this year’s Printfest. The event is open to the public on Saturday, from 10am to 5pm, and Sunday, from 10am to 4pm.
Printfest’s patron is Tim Robertson, who’s had a life-long involvement in the arts, working with amongst others, Anthony Gormley and Greyson Perry. Since 2015 he has been director of the Royal Society of Literature.
There are ten awards for artists at this year’s event. The most prestigious is Printmaker of the Year 2017, which has been awarded to Jason Hicklin. Hicklin was elected a member of the Royal Society of Painter Printmakers in 1993 and is a lecturer of printmaking at City & Guilds Art School in London. He has his own studio in Shropshire.
A portion of the funding for Printfest is coming from the Sir John Fisher Foundation. It will fund the ‘Printmakers of the Past’ stand, and for 2017 it will be presenting Francisco de Goya. Goya is considered one the most important Spanish artists of late 18th and early 19th centuries, and he was a prolific printmaker famed for his etchings and aquatints.
Explaining the appeal of printmaking, New chair Sally Bamber said: “Printmaking is a form of alchemy, a celebration of ink on paper.
“Printing plates are created with cutting and marking, altering the block by erosion, zinc or copper, or bringing elements together to make a collagraph plate, mixing grease and water on a stone plate, and numerous more methods used to give you an impression.
“We are looking forward to welcoming visitors to the fun of the event, starting with the Opening Talk on the Thursday evening. We are looking forward to welcoming the artists and supporting them, welcoming our Funders, Friends of Printfest and Sponsors, to the excitement of the Awards presentations, as well as supporting the arts.”
Printfest was founded in 2001 by print-making artists Judy Evans and Ronkey Bullard, with the help of Chris Benefield, who owned The Tinners’ Rabbit in Market Street, Ulverston.
More info: www.printfest.uk