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Month-long festival for Swaffham

PUBLISHED: 10:06 20 August 2010 | UPDATED: 10:57 16 September 2010

A POPULAR three-day art exhibition in Swaffham is set to branch out into a month-long festival this year after finding itself overrun with contributors.

A POPULAR three-day art exhibition in Swaffham is set to branch out into a month-long festival this year after finding itself overrun with contributors.

The Rotary Club's annual event in the town has been running for 16 years and growing steadily as more and more people want to get involved.

Spokesman Denis Bishop said it got to the stage in 2009 when the exhibition was crying out to be extended.

He said: “We were almost overflowing with art, jewellery, pottery and ceramic sculptures. It really seemed to have taken off so we started to look at ways in which we could take advantage of the interest in arts in this area and the county as a whole.”

The result is Swaffham's first-ever Visual Arts Festival which will run throughout October and culminate with the usual art exhibition, featuring 400 items by about 100 different artists, on the final weekend of the month.

Ahead of that, visitors to the town will be able to enjoy a screening of an award-winning film telling the story of French artist Seraphine Louis, an art demonstration by local painter Christopher Hollick and an illustrated lecture by the East Anglia Art Fund's director Charlotte Crawley.

Mr Bishop said the festival, sponsored by Abel Homes, should draw in hundreds of people from across the county.

And certain to bring in the crowds will be young art sensation Keiron Williamson who is due to give a demonstration of his talent on the final day of the exhibition.

The seven-year-old has sold paintings for thousands of pounds to collectors from across the world and a recent display at a Holt gallery saw more than 30 of his watercolours sell out in minutes.

Mr Bishop said, as long as the youngster was in the mood to paint, he should give visitors to the exhibition an amazing insight into his talent.

It is also hoped businesses in the town will get involved with the organisers planning to talk to traders about the possibility of running an art-themed window display competition.

The festival begins on October 8 and runs until October 31. For more information, visit the Swaffham Rotary Club's website - www.swaffhamrotary.org.uk.

Tickets for all events are available from Ceres Bookshop, London Street, or by calling Nigel Chambers on 01760 722351.

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