Join us for Open for Art 2017

Open for Art is back
Friday 30 June – Sunday 2 July 

This fourth year of Open for Art celebrates design, the arts and creativity, from marking the 100 years since the birth of iconic British Designer, Lucienne Day to exhibiting the work of Reading’s emerging designers, artists, performers and makers of all ages. Come and join us whilst we lead you on walks, hear artists talks and poems, explore Reading’s hidden waterways, take part
in Open Air art classes, create floral headdresses inspired by Frida Kahlo, follow the heritage paths and revel in performances.

*New for 2017*

  • Crafty music concert with singer and songwriter Nick Cope
  • Floral head crown making with Sonning Flowers and embroidery master class (with tapas) inspired by Frida Kahlo at Nomad Bakery
  • Interactive art from chess sets to paintings
  • Community collage based on Lucienne Day’s tea towel design called ‘Too Many Cooks’
  • Gallery 142 – a town house art exhibition presenting a rich and varied selection of works
  • 100 Canvases: a year long project inviting people to join us in creating canvases at our new studios in the Broad Street Mall. Be an artist for the day and work on a canvas that will then be exhibited & sold (the monies will be shared between Jelly’s education programme and you, the artist)

…and lots more…

This year the team of Arts Ambassadors are being supported by the Reading BID and you will be able to find them throughout the weekend, across the town, identifiable by their t-shirts and giant lollipops based at the Open For Art HQ at The Oracle Shopping centre. Here you can enjoy events, ask questions and pick up an Open for Art artist trail map, with over 35 venues to visit – it’s bigger and better than ever before.

Friday 30 June

Join us for our launch event at Malmaison Hotel with expressive gurative artist, Rebecca Swainston, who will be bringing along pieces from her current work. Rebecca will be talking about her inspiration in conversation with Wendy Thomson, the Founder and Editor of Female Arts. All are welcome and have the opportunity to pick up maps for the whole weekend. Register for your ticket/s here >> Breakfast with an Artist 

We then welcome singer and songwriter Nick Cope for a special Jelly Tots craft and music session at 10:30am. Enjoy a craft workshop with the Jelly Team, followed by a fun filled interactive concert with Nick and his witty repertoire in the friendly atmosphere of The Biscuit Tin café near Reading Station. Register for your ticket/s here >> Jelly Tots Presents Limited tickets left!

In the evening, we celebrate Frida Kahlo with floral head crown making at Sonning Flowers. Design and make your own floral head crown, enjoy light refreshments and good company. Electric Hair will be on hand to hairstyle your beautiful crown creation ready for a photo session and night out of drinks & chat at one of Reading’s much-loved independent bars, Milk. Register for your ticket/s here >> Frida and Florals

Saturday 1 July

Enjoy a host of fresh delights with The Jam Lady and foodie friends, celebrating the very best in local produce with a specially curated market on Station Hill performance area, a newly created performance piece by drama coaching company Berzerk Productions, mid-century inspired Mandala drawing and the ‘My Word’ Poetry Group with live poetry and words about Frida Kahlo and Reading Waterways at our Open for Art H.Q. desk in The Oracle Shopping Centre.

A colourful, cultural evening of embroidery and tapas creating a unique, hand embroidered Frida Kahlo creation, whilst savouring some delicious Mexican inspired tapas by Nomad Bakery in Caversham. Register for your ticket/s here >> Frida, Embroidery and Tapas

Sunday 2 July

We welcome the return of the Open Air Art challenge where artists can create a piece of artwork inspired by Reading and the public vote to choose the winner of £100 prize. We will be hearing peoples’ stories and experiences through a number of talks and walks. Sunday also welcomes a walk as part of an immersive art experience, following the traces of the river across the town, with participants carrying a balloon and stopping in locations to mark the flow of the Thames.

The Open for Art map with details of events, activities, venues, art trails, walks and talks across the weekend is available to download < here >

Printed versions of the map will be available very soon – in advance to the the event – and during, available from our Artist HQ in The Oracle, Lower Mall.

All workshops and events are bookable here:

To join in follow us here:

Hashtag: #OpenForArt
Twitter: @thejellyreading
Open for Art Workshops:

Thank you to our wonderful supporters
Reading Business Improvement District, The Cultural Partnership, Cream Design, Huntswood and Pineapple.

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