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8 ways to enjoy the Arts with Art8 Newquay

8 Days and 8 Ways to Experience the Arts. That's the challenge of Art8Newuqay as it hosts over 50 events and exhibitions across Newquay.
Newquay may hit the headlines for its surfing beaches and nightlife, but in mid-April its shows its more cultural side when it hosts Art8 Newquay. This splendid cultural festival celebrates 8 days and 8 disciplines, including drama, music, word, fine art, dance, design, photography and craft. The annual event has a wonderful array of arts performances and projects and runs from the second Thursday in April for 8 consecutive days.

The has a varied programme of events that are either free or a nominal charge to participate in, so there’s no excuse not to join in every event if you want to!

What’s happening at Art8 Newquay

The first ever Art8 Festival took place in 2012 and included 100 artists in over 50 events with 20 exhibitions in 40 venues across the town. Some of the events took place publically on the streets of Newquay while others required booking or signing up for. A series of workshops encouraged people to try a new skill. If you fancy learning to work with glass or want to try your hand at drumming, Art8 is the place to make it happen!

Art8 Newquay is organized by a committee of arts orientated individuals who have a passion for giving something back to Newquay through art and cultural activity. As well as marketing the Art8 Festival, they organize arts-themed workshops. One of the most fun projects they create is the Arts Trail which covers the whole town with over 100 artworks in exhibitions or as live demonstrations for the public to enjoy.

Prior to Art8 Newquay in April, there is a Kickstart8 launch party at . Please note that’s a local bar, not the public book lending service!

Art8 Newquay Arts Commission funding

The Art8 Festival has been awarded a grant from the to commission artistic pieces of work especially for the . The winning applicants get £1000 to create a site-specific contemporary art project to be shown in Newquay. The artist should have a connection with Newquay or the surrounding area as this is specifically a local project.

Last year’s winning entries of the Newquay Art8 Prize were a dancer, a videographer and an artist. The three winners each received £500 to present their very different art projects.

Emily Dobson, a dancer, choreographer and educationist, produced two dance films showing performances on the streets and beaches of Newquay. She also choreographed a live dance piece, performed by Robert Mennear and herself at the Killacourt and the Headland Hotel.

Tony Hill produced a video entitled “Open Doors” which appeared to mirror what the viewers were doing. Visitors walked into a dark space and seemingly interacted with film of others entering and leaving.

Tony Plant, an environmental artist based in Newquay, was the third winner for 2012. He recreated the patterns of the tide and the passage of the shadows from the sun on Lusty Glaze Beach onto the grassy area of the Barrowfields.

Newquay Arts8 offers a wide range of events from music to poetry

Arts8 2012 featured a vintage fair, a fashion show, a daily poet performing live readings and a Last Blast of dance and music. Who knows what’s instore in future years! Evenings offer live music at various town venues, a poetry slam, pub quiz and official opening and closing evenings (a bit like Ibiza, but on a somewhat smaller scale!).

Film debuts and the chance to interact with the artists make this a unique and stimulating arts festival for anyone with an interest in drama, writing, music and the arts.

If you have attended Art8 Newquay we want to hear from you! Let us know what events you enjoyed and what you would recommend as the best event of the festival. We’re also keen to hear about any other arts festivals in the Westcountry, so do let us know in the comments box below.

About Gillian Birch

Born in Cheshire, Gillian Birch moved to Cornwall at her earliest opportunity and never looked back. After 20 years, her ongoing discovery of popular attractions, quiet footpaths and local eateries has made her a fount of knowledge as she entertains readers with her informative articles on the hidden gems of Devon & Cornwall from a local point-of-view.

Find Gillian on Google+, and Twitter.

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