The First All Saints Arts Festival

By Sally Pudney on 31st May 2018

Well, the first ever All Saints Arts Festival in Maldon is now over. And it was wonderful! We had such a fun weekend, with lots of lovely visitors, lots of sales, some fascinating evening events – and marvellous weather as well! What more could we have hoped for.

It was quickly obvious that this was a SO much better venue than St Leonard’s at Lexden, where we ran our previous Lexden Arts Festival since 2012. The D’Arcy room, where we staged the Art Exhibition, is huge.

The D’Arcy Room. Naomi Brangwyn’s stained glass is visible on the left, and Anne Townshend’s prints on the right, with Sheila Wright’s crocheted throws and Jonathan Trim’s mixed media landscapes visible on the extreme right.

Looking in through the door of the D’Arcy Room from the café. Jonathan’s Trim’s paintings show up well at the far end of the room.                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Even at the Private View, when it was heaving with people, there were no bottlenecks, and our visitors were able to circulate and view everything freely – although we did end up with an enormous ‘buying’ queue!

The Festival Café in the South aisle led naturally into the exhibition space with no steps to negotiate, so that the two areas felt much more connected. At lunchtimes we were entertained by three talented pianists playing the grand piano in the café – one at a time, I should explain –  and on Saturday and Monday we had the Maldon Hand-bell Ringers playing in the mornings.

The Festival Café looking through into the D’Arcy Room

Many of the exhibitors, who have shown with us before, commented on the beautiful light in the D’Arcy Room, and the spaciousness of the whole church.

Miranda Chapman’s etchings on the left and Clare Kiely’s alpaca textiles on the right. This gives a good impression of the  light!

The Vicar of All Saint’s, Revd Canon Stephen Carter, at Sunday evening’s Community Songs of Praise service – he did everything he could to make everyone welcome and help us to make the Festival a success. (Photo Credit: Mike Ovenden)

We are really hoping that the PCC at All Saints will allow us to carry on and do another Festival next year – because we’ve already started planning . . . . . 🙂


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