Festival to kick-start Littlehampton’s arts bonanza

Creating a shoreline sculpture during the festival ' this was last year's ' will be among this year's activities, too
Creating a shoreline sculpture during the festival ' this was last year's ' will be among this year's activities, too

FROM the west bank of the River Arun, right across to Mewsbrook Park on the Rustington boundary, Littlehampton will be alive with art over the coming days.

The second Love Littlehampton Arts Festival and Arts Trail launches today (Saturday, July 19) with the free festival in the park – Caffyn’s Field – before the arts trail opens for six days from Monday.

A total of 25 venues will be showcasing the work of artists from the Littlehampton area and further afield in a wide range of media.

Cafés, a gym, the Look & Sea visitor centre, restaurants, Arun Civic Centre, and a beauty salon are among the locations on the trail, while special activities will make the most of Littlehampton’s seaside and harbour.

But the emphasis will be on music when the week gets underway at the festival, running from 10am-6.30pm on Saturday. From the acoustic goth of Beck Sian and Jonathan Kershaw, to Pocotiger’s psychededelic pop, and from Screamin’ Lez and the Mindbenders’ rock n roll to Irish folk band Collage, all manner of genres will feature on the stage.

Around the field, voluntary groups will set out their stalls to raise awareness of their work in the community and the festival as a whole is in aid of Littlehampton-based children’s charity Raydar.

Naturally, there will also be displays of arts and crafts, and multicultural food stalls will be serving up dishes from around the world.

“The musicians we have lined up are phenomenally good,” said Staci Mendoza who, with ceramicist David Bourne and Helen McCondach joined forces to establish the arts extravaganza.

Fifty professional artists, more than last year, will be taking part in the trail, displaying ceramics, sculpture, paintings, photography, textiles and even theatrical corsetry from Monday through to next Saturday.

Encouraged by the success of last year’s debut event, the organisers have kept to a similar format this time round, while changing some of the arts trail venues to give new locations the chance to be involved and retaining others where the hosts were particularly enthusiastic and supportive of the artists and the concept of the art trail.

“What’s pleasing is that most of the businesses involved with the trail are local, Littlehampton businesses, so it’s a good way in which the community can join in,” said Staci.

Sculpture will be a new feature of the trail, with the work of Monique Vasquez Ryan, originally from the United States, on view at the Fish Factory, in East Street, and with Julia Oak’s 3D pieces and fine art installation at the Arun Civic Centre, in Maltravers Road, where David McAdam Freud, son of Lucian, will be exhibiting oil and acrylic paintings.

Both the trail, and the festival, are free events, as are the special activities (see separate story).

The week’s programme has been put together by the Littlehampton Organisation of Contemporary Art (LOCA) with support from Littlehampton Town Council, Arun District Council, Sussex Police, Loose Marbles arts organisation and a raft of other arts and community groups.

Details of the events are in the festival leaflet, available across the town.