Festival’s hard cell approach to art appreciation

The 2017 Creative Peebles Festival's Open Galleries Evening is a chance to visit all sorts of artists' studios, including the town's Old Police Cells
The 2017 Creative Peebles Festival's Open Galleries Evening is a chance to visit all sorts of artists' studios, including the town's Old Police Cells

The 2017 Creative Peebles Festival gets under way on Friday (August 25) with the traditional Open Galleries Evening – a chance for visitors and locals to enjoy a variety of visual art produced, displayed and sold at a dozen venues around the town.

Galleries such as Tweed Art in the Old Town, Breeze Gallery and Tweeddale Museum and Gallery in High Street, plus the Moy Mackay Gallery, Northgate, are joined by a variety of smaller studios and venues in Port Brae (the Old Police Cells, pictured), Pennels Close (Silver Tree Studio) and School Brae (Woodworks, La Petit Chambre).

There are also exhibitions at the Tontine and Park hotels, the Old School Studio pop-up shop at the Coal Shed in Edinburgh Road, as well as a display of lino-cut prints as part of Neil Stewart’s Narrative Ark exhibition at the Eastgate Theatre.

Opening their doors from 7-9pm, all venues invite the public to enjoy a true feast of artwork, much of it created by local artists. The majority of venues will be open throughout the festival as part of the Creative Peebles Festival Art Trail – with maps available from participating venues, or the Eastgate Theatre box office.

The Open Galleries Evening represents just one element of the visual arts programme at this year’s festival which runs until September 3, with hands-on workshops led by local artists a particular feature. Festival-goers can choose from classes in lino-cutting and print-making by Neil Stewart, drawing with charcoal together with Deborah Campbell, and an artists’ book workshop with Susie Wilson.

Visitors to the Eastgate Theatre should also look out for the Big, Big Peebles Draw – a community-led display of postcard-sized artwork highlighting aspects of life in Peebles. During the exhibition, visitors are invited to bid to buy their favourite pieces, with the results of the silent auction revealed on the final day of the festival. All proceeds from this will go towards developing next year’s festival. More information at www.creativepeeblesfestival.co.uk.