Sudbury arts festival has plug pulled

AN art festival in Sudbury has had to be cancelled due to a lack of funding and interest, writes Elliot Pinkham.

The inaugural Art for All Festival was due to feature an art trail with 12 large works by local artists around the town, street performers and demonstrations and stalls in St Peter’s for a week from August 4.

Organiser Julia Prior, who owns Bookends gallery and book shop in Gaol Lane, said: “It is due to a lack of funds from sponsors.

“We had six or seven but it wasn’t enough for every artist to complete their boards and put them up.”

Mrs Prior had appealed for volunteers and sponsors to help her in the Free Press in March.

“I had booked St Peter’s and I just wasn’t getting the interest, I don’t know whether it is because there’s so much going on anyway with the jubilee celebrations,” she said.

Artists, including children’s author and illustrator Rebecca Elliott and graffiti artist David Wortley, had been commissioned to create the eight feet by four feet works for the festival’s centrepiece.

“The artists were really disappointed,” said Mrs Prior. “But we didn’t want to do it half-heartedly – we wanted it to be so good that it would attract sponsors for another year.

“It was a really big ask for one person to organise. I’d put so much time in already and there was still so much to do.”

Mrs Prior said she hoped that ideas from the festival could be rearranged or incorporated into future events in the next year.

“There will be other things we can do for this year or maybe the 100th anniversary of the unveiling of the Gainsborough statue, which is in 2013,” she said.

Sudbury mayor Jack Owen said he wished that the project would have been given more support.

“It is extremely disappointing as it is the sort of thing we want to use to promote our young talent,” he said.

“I hope it hasn’t been cancelled too hastily. I would have thought we could have got some businesses to come forward to help out, but everybody is suffering and feeling the pinch at the moment.”