Visting Stratford and attending the Fine Art Trade Guild exhibition and dinner.
A week ago today, I was in Stratford-upon-Avon attending the Fine Art Trade Guild annual exhibition and Master of the Guild dinner. We had a fantastic day at the Crowne Plaza hotel, right in the middle of town. Before getting to the hotel, I managed to pay a visit to Hedgehog Friendly Town. I've been following HFT on Facebook for some time now, and helping to promote their work rescuing and rehabilitating hedgehogs - a British species of mammal which has been in a worrying decline for some years. Consequently, it was a great thrill to see these little creatures in the flesh, and discover that they are actually more beautiful in real life than the photographs suggest. I met twelve year old Kyra, the youngest rehabilitator on the British Hedgehog Preservation Society register, and her mum Helen. HFT do an amazing job with these animals, and depend upon donations to enable them to continue their valuable work. I took some hedgehog photographs which I hope to turn into some artwork in the near future....when I get some spare time!
After a naughty but nice lunch of haddock and chips...yum... I went back to the hotel to find the exhibition was up and running. I managed to attend my first artist forum, where I listened carefully to all the conversation, especially about prints, from my artist colleagues.
In the evening we gathered for drinks and a chat before heading for the dining area and a lovely three course meal followed by the industry awards.
It was a memorable weekend, and I met some really nice people too.
The next day it was back in the car and up the motorway to Frodsham to collect my work from the Association of Animal Artists exhibition and have a committee meeting with my colleagues and fellow trustees.