Our annual Christmas Art and Food Market & Harley Open Studios will be taking place 22 – 24 November 2013. Now in its 13th year, the Christmas Art Market attracts top British makers and thousands of visitors looking to buy the best in British contemporary craft.
This year, for the first time, the Art Market will include a special preview session on Friday 22 November, from 2-7pm. The Art Market has steadily evolved since its’ beginnings in 2000, now including the Food Market and Open Studios which offer a chance to explore the workspaces of artists and makers based here on the Welbeck Estate.
Sue Cullen, Arts & Sports Development Service Manager at Nottinghamshire County Council, who worked with Director of The Harley Gallery Lisa Gee to establish the Harley Art Market, explains why she returns every year.
November 2000, its very early Saturday morning, and I’m driving to the Harley Gallery worrying …. the usual state of mind of an event organiser! Has the marquee erected in the courtyard survived the overnight gales? Will the 15 artists turn up? Will they sell anything? Will the public come? Why did Lisa, director of the Harley Gallery, and I think this new ‘Art Market’ event was a good idea? Well, the marquee was there, the artists and the public did come, sales were made and thirteen years on I think we can honestly say it was a good idea!
The event has grown and changed since that first year and now includes a mouth watering selection of food products, but its central tenet remains the same – present only the highest quality – and that’s why the public come year after year and its why I now return, as a visitor, every year. To me it marks the beginning of the festive season and I can’t think of a better place to find a really beautiful gift and meet up with friends.
This year there will be over 50 artists attending, some were there in the early years, like the wonderful Ashi Marwahi who sold her very first piece as a professional jeweller at a Harley Art Market and furniture makers Malcolm David Smith, whose sculptural chairs I recommend you sit in to truly appreciate how comfortable they are, and my good mate the endlessly witty Steve Handley who now has his workshop at Welbeck. However, the joy of the event is also finding new artists and since I’m always drawn to shiny things I’m really looking forward to seeing the jewellery of newcomers Chris Boland and Chiara Bet because after all sometimes you should buy a special gift for yourself!
See you there – I’ll be the one clutching a bulging shopping bag drooling over a foodie treat!
The Harley Art Market and Open Studios will be open Friday 22 November 2-7pm, Saturday 23 November 10am – 5pm and Sunday 24 November 10am – 4pm 2013. The Christmas Food Market will be open Saturday 23 November 10am – 5pm and Sunday 24 November 10am – 4pm.