Lavenham: Village’s creative talent to shine in 3-day arts festival

Members of the Lavenham Art Festival committee

Members of the Lavenham Art Festival committee - Credit: Andrew Partridge

Artists and craftsmen in one of Suffolk’s most picturesque villages are hoping to repeat the success of a three-day festival which was revived in 2012 after a 50 year break.

Artisans living in Lavenham are planning to open their studios to the public over the May Bank Holiday weekend while a host of activities are planned for the village’s famous marketplace.

Despite the large number of talented artists in the village, prior to 2012 the last time a festival of this kind was held there was in 1963. The event two years ago attracted hundreds of visitors to Lavenham’s picture postcard streets where it is easy to imagine painters, sculptors and weavers crafting away inside the mix of Medieval, Tudor, Georgian and Victorian buildings.

Lesley Thompson, who has helped organise the festival, said: “The art festival weekend is when Lavenham - home to so many artists and creative talent - turns into a walking art tour with 15 open studios throughout the village and exciting and unusual artistic events in the Market Place.

“Our first festival for half a century, which we held in 2012, was such a success despite the really bad weather, we were very keen to keep it rolling. This year, we are organising an even bigger event and are staging it over the second bank holiday weekend in May, which will hopefully be warmer and drier.”

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Planned so far is a ‘studio trail’ around the working places of 15 local artists, who will be on hand to discuss their work and divulge the secrets of their craft.

Visitors to the Market Place will be in for a treat as they watch sculptor Kate Denton creating a sculpture of a Shetland pony. They can also try their hand at drawing birds of prey with artist Peter Partington.

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Budding young painters will again be invited to help create a colourful mural of Lavenham’s famous streetscape.

Little Hall will become home to a wealth of artisans ranging from potters, spinners and jewellery makers to florists and quilters. The event is from May 24 to 26 and a programme will be produced nearer the time. Visit for details.

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