What a picture! Visitors to Longridge had the opportunity to say that 66 times over as they viewed the work of the artists competing for a coveted prize in the annual Create Longridge event.
The Ribble Valley town was transformed on Saturday with artists painting on the street, inside shops, cafes, churches and offices and setting up easels at locations including local beauty spot Jeffrey Hill.
Competitors for the top prize of £2,000 even included two “graduates” of the BBC’s The Big Painting Challenge - graphic designer Anil Patel from Leicester (pictured) and Jane Voss from Lytham St Annes.
All art works were created and judged on the day with the winners announced at Longridge Conservative Club in the evening. One of the organisers - and the man who first suggested having a “Create Longridge “ event - Alistair Sheret, owner of the Longridge Gallery on Berry Lane, said: “We had a terrific day. The rationale of Create Longridge is if you bring creative people to town it gives people a reason to come and while they are here they buy a cup of coffee or a pint of beer and a sandwich and they’ll come back because they’ve enjoyed the town so much. It’s there to help businesses thrive. We get hundreds of visitors. In a small town like Longridge footfall is everything.”
Create Longridge is now in its third year and is run by volunteers. This year it was sponsored by more than 30 businesses including first prize sponsor Raymond James Investment Services. Alistair added: “I brought the idea to the table but there are nine people on the Create Longridge team.”
First prize was won by Adam Ralston of Blackpool with his painting of Berry Lane, second prize went to Andrew Farmer from Doncaster with his street scene of Longridge from Market Place and third prize went to John McCloskey of Pleasington, near Blackburn, for his painting of Parlick.
Commenting on the prizewinners’ work Alistair said: “All three were joyous paintings with wonderful perspective, light and colour. They were very uplifting paintings.”
The paintings have now been moved to Longridge Gallery where they will be on display and for sale all week until Saturday evening from 10am to 5pm. Prices range from £40 to £1,800.
Create Longridge also included a series of fringe events including painting on silk and a creative writing activity, with authors later reading their work from the stage at the town’s Palace cinema.