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Expo gives artists and makers a showcase

A CALL has gone out for artists to take part in the second North East Art Expo.

Art Expo steering committee members Sue Bright, Dan Rose, Matt Forster and Nicolette Perry

A CALL has gone out for artists to take part in the second North East Art Expo.

Last year’s inaugural weekend event attracted 4,500 visitors to a marquee on Newcastle Quayside to view and buy work made by more than 50 artists and makers based in the region.

Painters, jewellery makers, photographers, ceramicists, printers and furniture makers were among those who bought exhibition space at the event.

There are some changes this year. For one thing, the Expo does not coincide with the inaugural NewcastleGateshead Art Fair on the Gateshead bank of the Tyne.

Whereas the Art Fair featured stands representing commercial galleries from around the country, the Art Expo was a showcase for individual artists based in the North East.

This hasn’t changed. Among those who have already booked space at the Art Expo are Ingrid Wagner, the Newcastle-based textile artist, and Alison Best, who specialises in what she terms expressionist stencils.

The Expo is open to professional and amateur artists and designers who will be on hand to chat to members of the public during the event which runs from Friday, May 30, to Sunday, June 1.

Ingrid Wagner

The second big change is that the event will move indoors this year, taking over the Art Works Galleries near the Tanners pub at the top of Stepney Bank, Byker, Newcastle.

This large venue, run by artist Matt Forster and his wife Nicolette Perry, has been open for nearly two years and has featured the work of hundreds of artists who rent wall and floor space.

Nicolette says: “The space is ideal for this kind of event because there is enough room for over 70 artists and for visitors to walk around freely without feeling cramped.”

She adds that the venue will be given over entirely to the Expo. “The venue has such a sociable atmosphere and will make for a great weekend.”

Dan Rose, another steering group member along with Sue Bright, of the Ouseburn Festival, and Chris Murtagh, of entertainment agency Line-Up PMC, says: “The event once again has been established to raise awareness of the North East’s vibrant artistic culture and to give the public an opportunity to come and meet the artists.” Anyone wanting to view the Art Works Galleries is invited to this evening’s First Thursday event starting at 6.30pm – a regular monthly session which attracts hundreds of artists and potential customers.

Artists wishing to get involved in the three-day event should email info@northeast-artexpo.com or tel 07899 731239.

The NewcastleGateshead Art Fair is also moving indoors this year, taking place at The Sage Gateshead from September 11-14.

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