Helfa Gelf 2012
The Artistic Adventure Begins
The biggest ever Helfa Gelf /Art Trail begins next month in North Wales, with artists throwing open
their doors to allow visitors to experience their normally private creative world. Studios from
Gwynedd, Conwy, Flintshire, Denbighshire and Wrexham have signed up to be part of North
Wales’ biggest annual art event.
“I am taking part in Helfa Gelf again this year and it is fantastic. I work on my own in my studio all
year and in September it feels really nice to be with a larger group of colleagues, the Helfa Gelf
team. I love meeting my visitors and being part of something bigger,” said Laura Capper, master
upholsterer and upcycled furniture designer, from Laura’s Attic, Mold.
Over 300 artists select which days they open their studios over the Fridays, Saturdays and
Sundays throughout September, commencing Friday 7 September 2012. An invaluable help in
planning your free artistic adventure is ‘The Art Trail Map’, an online interactive guide including
information on studio location, artist profile, a gallery of images, directions to the studio, satellite
map, access information and opening times. The free printed guide featuring all the artists is widely
available from local libraries, schools, tourist information centres, hotels, shops, galleries and Helfa
Gelf Information Points.
“I am totally committed to Helfa Gelf this year; I am open every weekend. I am getting out the flags,
the large A-boards and posters to advertise my studio. There is going to be cake and a little launch
party. I am going to GO FOR IT and have a good time,” says Laura. The Helfa Gelf artists all offer
a very warm welcome to those curious to find out what artists get up to in their studios, visitors
wanting a chat to discuss the artistic process or callers who would like a chance to buy art direct
from the maker.
New funding from project supporters has allowed the artists access to professional development
workshops, support and promotion of the event. The Helfa Gelf Art Trail project has received
funding through the Rural Development Plan for Wales 2007–2013, which is funded by the Welsh
Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.
“As with anything you throw yourself into, it is always a challenge; it is hard to mix my creative side
with my business side. I have a clear idea in my head and I want to get this across to visitors.
Having the support of Helfa Gelf is important to me; you aren’t just working on your own, that is
what Helfa Gelf is for me,” said Laura.
Studios spaces are found in every imaginable situation including sheds, barns, chapels, galleries
and artists’ homes. Some are located in quiet residential streets and some are high up in the hills.
Using ‘The Art Trail Map’ online, you can plan a visit to include a mix of studio locations and artists
working in different media. Using the map or guide, you can quickly see which artists are situated
together by county and location, enabling you to plan an enlightening and interesting day.
“Last year I gained so much from opening my studio, the networking more than anything. Visitors
who came to see me told their friends and the friends brought more friends. It was talking to
visitors about my work, which was invaluable. During Helfa Gelf this year, I want to generate a lot
more conversations,” said Laura.
The artists are preparing for September and you are invited to join the Helfa Gelf /Art Trail to begin
a conversation, gain more understanding, have an opportunity to buy and experience this normally
hidden world. Come and visit a studio on your doorstep or plan visits every weekend in September;
travelling through beautiful North Wales, your artistic adventure begins.
Laura Capper, master upholsterer and upcycled furniture designer
Photos by Simon Proffitt, Greenlanddesign
Mrs Jo Quinney MCIPR Accredited Practitioner
Q Marketing & PR Ltd
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