Malmesbury high street art trail kicked off yesterday (12th August) and runs until the Saturday September 16th. The town’s high street is transformed into an art gallery showcasing the talents of local artists.

The Mayor of Malmesbury, Cllr Gavin Grant declared the high street ‘gallery’ open at the Market Cross at 10.30am on Saturday August 12.

Bringing art to the high street

Malmesbury town council, led by Cllr Kim Power, have organised the event. It’s a fun and interesting way of promoting the town, by bringing together shops and local artists.

Former mayor Kim Power, said: ‘Shop windows in the high street become an art gallery for displaying local artists’ work. A map of window locations and artists is available on our website. Or you can pick up a paper copy from the tourist information centre.  So, please come to the town and take part in this free art trail, as there’s something for everyone. Please also tell your family and friends to visit and support all those taking part. It’s a fantastic collaboration.’

Helen Chapman runs the Fabric Shack in the high street and has taken part in the arts trail with great enthusiasm:

We’re thrilled to be taking part for the 3rd year running.  We love this unusual and interesting way to discover Malmesbury’s talented creators. It’s great to be able to play host as it adds interest to our window displays and helps promote what we offer. It’s our hope it will inspire others to get creative too!’

‘We’ve noticed groups of people doing the tour and often they’ll pop in to see what we’re all about.

‘I’m a huge fan of our artist Jennifer Storer’s work and the picture we’re getting is in our colour scheme. So I’m tempted to get it myself!’

Malmesbury High Street Art Trail - Helen Chapman of the Fabric Shack
Malmesbury High Street Art Trail – Helen Chapman of the Fabric Shack

Doing the trail

Visitors can choose to browse the shops at their leisure or follow the art trail map. It starts at the town hall and finishes at the market cross, taking in all participating locations.

‘Malmesbury is already a great and historic place, but this is an added attraction. It’ll encourage even more people to visit during the summer.  The thirty-two artists taking part are providing a variety of different artwork. The gamut runs from modern and traditional to glasswork, textiles and more. Thus there’s something for all to enjoy. Also, the work is available to buy over a wide price range.  For the complete experience, visitors can browse our unique shops and even stay to enjoy a coffee or meal in town.’ Kim said.

Tom Bowerman runs The Wild Food Co.
We’re taking part as we love to support local makers and creators. That’s something we already do every day with locally made foods and Malmesbury themed gifts. It’s great to be able to help a local artist get some more exposure using our window space.’

And if you like a piece of work and want to buy it?

‘People who wish to buy an artwork pay for it at the town hall TIC,’ Kim explains. ‘The shop will then release it to them and replace it in the shop window with another piece of artwork from the same artist.’

For each piece of art sold, the shop receives a 20% commission and the artist receives the remaining 80%.

Last year’s gallery proved successful with many participating shops seeing an increase in footfall while the event was running. All of which provided a boost to both businesses and artists in the town.

Cllr Power adds: ‘Malmesbury and nearby villages have a wealth of talented artists. By organising the High St art gallery, we’re giving visitors a free opportunity to appreciate and even buy this fantastic local artwork. Also, it’s another fun reason to visit our historic town centre with its unique shops. Children especially enjoy following the art gallery map and spotting the artwork.’

Download a trail map here:

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