Annual event is a great showcase for wealth of local talent, as well as bringing a welcome boost for East Neuk economy
It was great to visit the Pittenweem Arts Festival today. It’ a huge highlight in the year bringing many people to the East Neuk to browse exhibits, buy some unique items and explore the historic village’s streets and harbour.
As well as showcasing the wealth of artistic talent we have locally, the festival also brings in artists and craftspeople from across the globe making this a truly international event.
It was great to meet up with Barbara Fleming, who has been a member of the Festival Board for 25 years, and to chat to her about the variety of artists taking part this year and the benefits the event brings to the village and the wider East Neuk.
Barbara, who creates beautiful knitwear and jewellery, told me that many visitors say part of the Festival’s charm is that the venues are located in many of the village’s quaint houses and shops, enabling people to see inside places they wouldn’t normally be able to explore. She is also delighted that so many international artists want to show their work here and believes this has helped ensure Pittenweem really is the ‘home of the arts festival’.
Barbara also explained that this year’s festival has diversified to include working with SNH to display 32 paintings in the Isle of May’s iconic lighthouse until September.
I know the committee put in a great deal of hard work and it was great to see this paying off with so many visitors popping into the venues and keeping the local cafes busy.
It was good to meet up with Festival chairperson Jean Duncan in the Coach House and to hear about some of the visitors to this venue and this year’s invited artists – Calum Colvin, Lara Scobie and Line Mortensen.
Despite the downpours , it was good to see so many people milling around venues and it was great to get the chance to meet award-winning Balmerino-based artist Derek Robertson who is showing some of his work in the library in Cove Wynd; as well as this year’s bursary award winner Sophie Demery who is based at Thistle House, Mid Shore. I also enjoyed catching up with the team who are working hard on creating the Pittenweem Fisherman’s Memorial and to see their display of old photos in the church at Kirk Gate. Also well worth visiting is the display by East Neuk Art Club in the town hall. The picture for the first prize in the raffle was kindly donated by Joan Creevy of KIlconquhar.
The Festival runs until August 11 so head along if you can, just look out for the blue boards for the official venues. More information is available at https://pittenweemartsfestival.co.uk/