Belfast Telegraph

The artisans of Ards exhibit their wares

The Ards’ district is in for a crafty campaign of activities this month as the annual Creative Peninsula event is set once again on its mission to discover the wealth of local artistic talent.

Ten years on, the Creative Peninsula is still going “as strong as ever”, and dozens of artists and craftspeople who live and work in the Ards Borough, will be taking part — throwing open the doors of their normally private workshops to members of the public, demonstrating their skills, and exhibiting their work in venues across the area.

The event starts in full swing this Friday, August 5, when Conway Square in Newtownards becomes a hive of creative activity, with craft and art demonstrations, music, and children's activities.

Organised by Ards Borough Council, a spokesperson said: “New additions to the 2011 event include 'alfresco art', where beginners and experienced artists come together at dawn or dusk to capture for themselves some of the stunning views over Strangford Lough.

“‘Gallery Notes' a series of atmospheric recitals will be taking place in Ards Art Centre's Georgian Gallery each Friday lunchtime in August. Violinist, Ruby Colley, Paul McMordie and his guitar, and harpist Ursula Burns will each take their turn contributing to a unique ambiance in the gallery.

“The exhibition itself will feature an exclusive collection of mixed media art and craft from some of the finest local artists and designers, while the Sunburst Gallery will host a collection of some of the finest work being created by the talented GCSE, AS and A level students residing in the borough.”

“Other venues across the Ards will all show work from professional artists. The Graffan Gallery at the newly refurbished Castle Espie House will display pieces relating to wildlife and nature.

“The Loft Gallery in Portaferry with its views over the lough, will be home to a body of work which encapsulates the tidal, seasonal and geological changes which have shaped the Ards Peninsula — created by ceramicist, Lindsay Press, and poet Matt Kirkham.

“The new exhibition area in Ards Crafts, 'The Space', will feature a joint exhibition by Yvonne Braithwaite and Judith Lyness, devoted to unique 3D nautical charts.

“There's also the opportunity to purchase a piece of local art or craft from many talented creative people. Tours, workshops, open studio visits and other activities then continue until Sunday August 14.”

Brochures are available from Ards Tourist Information Centre, T 028 9182 6846, or visit

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