THE sixth Palace Art-fest exhibition in the Great Hall of the Bishop’s Palace and the Palace Gardens will take place from Monday, August 22 to Monday, August 29 and will once again feature an eclectic mix of paintings, sculpture and ceramics by 45 artists from Herefordshire and the surrounding regions.

The aim of the event is not only to showcase local artistic talent, of which there is abundance, but also to support the Hereford Cathedral Perpetual Trust and the Friends of Hereford Three Choirs Festival with the funds raised from commission on sales.

The exhibition was set up by a small committee chaired by Trevor Swindells who has steered it from strength to strength over subsequent years. At a very energetic 80, Trevor has stepped down as chair, but remains active on the committee which is now chaired by Lee Seal.

Selection panel introduced

Each year, organisers have adopted a policy of inviting back artists who have proved popular exhibitors at the previous year’s event but also to select artists who have not previously exhibited at Art-fest. Proof of how popular the event has become among artists is the fact that it has become necessary to introduce a selection panel to choose new artists.

Among the artists featured in this year’s Art-fest are sculptor Sara Bamford with her stunning Cirque de Soleil-inspired welded sculptures and the beautiful free machine embroidered paintings of Angela Bentley, paintings by Lynne Poole, Julienne Braham and Bronte Woodruff, and sculpture by Sue Locke and Patricia Northcroft. The 2011 Art-fest will also include a not-for-sale exhibition of work by Hereford Cathedral School sixth form art students.

This year, the committee have attempted to give the display a more ‘open’ lay-out and are again very grateful to Bishop Anthony and Mrs Priddis, a talented artist and ceramicist herself, who is also an exhibitor, for the use of the Palace gardens to exhibit outside sculpture.

This year is the last year the Art-fest will take place in August as a major change to the timing is planned for next year, with the event moving back to the early summer to coincide with the Hay Literary Festival.

Preview night is on Sunday, August 21, from 5-7pm (ticket only) with refreshments and music by Hereford Cathedral School musicians. Tickets, £10, are available from Erica Manley, HCPT, 5, College Cloisters, Cathedral Close, Hereford HR1 2NG or call 01432 374261.