Festival celebrates artistic heritage of seaside village

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THOUSANDS of visitors descended on an art festival which celebrated the heritage of a seaside village dating back to the Victorian era.

The Staithes Art Festival was held this weekend when dozens of artists gathered in the fishing village to show their work in impromptu galleries which were created in shops and cottages.

Organisers said they expected to exceed last year’s attendance when an estimated 3,500 people visited the inaugural festival.

There were 77 galleries at this year’s event – almost double the number from last year – with 111 artists involved in the festival which was held on Saturday and Sunday.

The chairwoman of the organising committee, Barbara Govan, claimed the event had been hugely successful for both established and fledgling talent. Among the recognised names who exhibited were oil painters Ian Burke and Rob Shaw, as well as husband and wife team Paul and Chris Czainski.

The town has a long association with art after it became home to a famous collective of artists, dubbed the Staithes Group, in the 19th century.

Ms Govan said: “It is wonderful to think that the long history with art is once again being rekindled in the 21st century.”