Locals and visitors enjoyed getting creative with Longridge’s exciting arts event that will soon feature on BBC TV, writes Olivia Beaty. Photography: Andy McClaughlin

Last month Create Longridge was a great success with the town bustling with locals, visitors and 65 artists, both professional and amateur, who came together to create new original artwork within a three mile radius of Longridge using any media of their choice.

Tracy Levine was awarded first prize and Ricky Young achieved second, both pieces of art capturing the stunning landscape surrounding Longridge. Third place went to Gosha Gibek who painted the colourful Berry Lane.

The event would not have been possible without the huge amount of support and sponsorship from local people and businesses, as Alistair Sheret of Longridge Gallery explained: “On behalf of the Create Longridge team I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who has helped and supported the event, we are all incredibly grateful.”

Throughout the week following the event all the artwork was displayed in Longridge Gallery and was available for purchase. On the first day of the exhibition the first piece of art was sold just one minute after the gallery opened at 11 o’clock! Now a total of 25 pieces have been sold.

After viewing the finished pieces in the gallery, local professional artist Andrew Talbot selected three paintings which caught his eye and enquired if they had been created by younger artists. He was correct, the paintings were completed by Flora Robson, Colette Howson and Emily Cowell, who were offered a masterclass taught by Andrew packed with advice and tips – the three young artists were thrilled! In addition to this a handful of other artists have picked up commissions directly as a result of the day.

The event was not just terrific for the artists but also for Longridge town, which on the day was thriving! Create Longridge had fantastic media coverage as the day was live on Radio Lancashire and was also was filmed by the BBC. The event attracted many locals and visitors which in turn benefited the local businesses, some stated they had their best day since they opened!

“The atmosphere was great and it was lovely to see such a range of artists, I really enjoyed myself!” said Keith Parkinson of KP Gallery and Ribble Valley Art Studios.

This year’s fun may be over, but don’t worry Create Longridge will be back next year on Saturday 15th July with the main focus once again being the art competition and fringe events hoping to be bigger and better!

Footage from the day will be screened on the 17th October at 7.30pm on BBC1 as part of Inside Out. Don’t miss it!

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