Powys Arts Month in full swing

PUBLISHED: 12:29 16 May 2014 | UPDATED: 12:49 16 May 2014

As part of Powys Arts Month, 6 young performers from Powys Dance perform 'Topiary Traumas' an interactive comedy dance theatre performance in the park in Newtown Wales UK / Photo: Keith Morris

As part of Powys Arts Month, 6 young performers from Powys Dance perform 'Topiary Traumas' an interactive comedy dance theatre performance in the park in Newtown Wales UK / Photo: Keith Morris

©keith morris 2014 keith@artx.co.uk.www.artswebwales.com

We’re mid-way through Powys Arts Month, but there are still many opportunities to see innovative and creative work across the county

Jenny Hall's work at Machynlleth / Photo: Keith MorrisJenny Hall's work at Machynlleth / Photo: Keith Morris

Artists, makers and performers have come together to showcase and share their expertise this May during Powys Arts Month. The county-wide celebration of culture and creativity features open studios, exhibitions, talks, workshops, demonstrations and concerts, designed to appeal to all interests and entertain all ages. Visitors can get up close to the creative process as more than twenty artists and makers open their studios, or roll their sleeves up and have a go at one of more than thirty workshops.

Open Studios provide the chance to admire pieces like those forged by specialist blacksmith Spike Blackhurst (Village Workshops, Llanbrynmawr, May 17-18; 26-31) or tin plate automata by renowned artist Andy Hazell being shown as part of Old School Arts Open Studio in Knighton from May 10 to 18. Andy will also be giving a talk there on May 16 about his travels – and the career opportunities offered by the humble biscuit tin!

Jenny Hall and table: Artist, architectural designer and maker Jenny Hall with her Tables for Two / Photo: Keith MorrisJenny Hall and table: Artist, architectural designer and maker Jenny Hall with her Tables for Two / Photo: Keith Morris

Workshops include a full day making a bird for the garden out of willow with Beryl Smith at Crafts Mid Wales near Llanidloes (May 17), the chance to learn to spin with a Mayan Spinner at Sunnybank Studio and Haulwen Crafts, Llangammarch Wells (May 21) and tablet weaving for the complete beginner in the same venue (May 20 and 31).

The ‘Best Of Powys’ at Mid Wales Arts Centre (MWAC), Maesmawr, Caersws, is an exhibition showcasing some of the exceptional art from the region and is open every day except Mondays until May 26. The exhibition features sculpture, paintings, prints and ceramics and offers a good starting point to begin exploring the individual studios that will be open during the month. MWAC is also hosting pottery workshops (Wednesdays 7pm-9pm) and a wire sculpture day for children on May 28 plus a series of other special events for Powys Arts Month - Powys’ poetry talent is celebrated on May 22 at a Poetry Open Mic at 7.30pm and an afternoon charity concert on May 25 (2.30pm to 5pm) will feature the best of Powys’ young musicians and will be followed by an evening concert with a varied programme of solo and chamber pieces. Artwear on May 28 is a free fashion show featuring the work of Sasha Kagan and Chrissie Menzies and will be held at L’Armoire, Longbridge Street, Llanidloes, in collaboration with MWAC.

The Boat Shed / Photo: Keith MorrisThe Boat Shed / Photo: Keith Morris

There’s more outdoor artwork to appreciate, too; The Spring Festival at the Royal Welsh Showground, Builth Wells on May 17 and 18 features an unexpected piece of theatre inside the belly of a pig! This eye-catching installation and show features a 30-foot long sleeping sow in a pen. Then at Hay Festival, which runs from May 22 to June 1, get tweeting with The Hay Maypole, thought up by artist Nicky Arscott from Llanbrynmair, who has exhibited work in the USA and across the UK and is also a writer of poetry and fiction. This is a joint commission awarded by Powys Arts Month and the Hay Festival.

Nicky Arscott said of the event: “It will be Hay’s meeting point, situated just inside the entrance to the festival. Simply compose a message of love and send it via @haymaypole and our emergency literary response team will get back to you as soon as possible.”

Selected Programme

• PIG

May 16 and 17

Throughout both days at the Spring Festival, Royal Welsh Showground, Builth Wells: An eye-catching installation and show featuring a 30-foot sleeping sow in a pen, with regular 10-minute shows in her belly. Find PIG on the Village Green near the pig enclosure. For details or help finding PIG at the show: 07775 781897

• Hay Maypole, Hay Festival, Hay on Wye,

May 22 – June 1

An innovative commission by Nicky Arscott, awarded by Hay Festival and Powys Arts Month. The intricately decorated Hay Maypole will be situated just by the entrance to the festival and will be a real-life and online meeting place, with tweets being answered at @haymaypole.

For more details: 07775 781897

• Sculpture workshop at Rebecca Buck’s Open Sculpture Studio and Workshops, Upper Swansea Valley,

May 16-18; 22-26

Scuplture workshop held during Rebecca’s Open Sculpture Studio at Osprey Studios.

• Willow sculpture and rush weaving

May 16-19, 23-26

Willow sculpture workshop May 17 at Crafts Mid Wales, Goetref, Y Fan, Llanidloes.

Please phone to make arrangements 07779 873778.

• Tin plate automata and Radnor Improvisers

May 17

As part of Old School Arts Open Studio, The Old School in Radnor, improvisers will be creating a soundscape. The Open Studio also features an exhibition of tin plate automata by renowned artist Andy Hazell.

Powys Arts Month is funded by Arts Council Wales and Powys County Council. For more information about Powys Arts Month and the full programme visit: www.powysartsmonth.org.uk

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