If you are looking for something different to do between shows, why not check out one of the colourful exhibitions at this year's Buxton Festival Fringe (July 9-27)?
This year there are some fascinating newcomers as well as some very welcome Fringe regulars.
The Fringe is particularly excited to be hosting the first Great Dome Art Fair, a major new event from Peak District Products, an association of over 50 professional craftspeople, artists and fine food producers. An architectural highlight of Buxton, The Dome is a wonderful setting for these local exhibitors to show off their often surprisingly affordable wares ranging from jewellery to stained glass and wood carvings to textiles.
A regular Fringe entrant, Bookstore Brierlow Bar is always surprising the Fringe with its new ideas. For 2008, the out of town bookshop has organised a special photographic competition for children and adults with the results to be displayed at the shop during the Fringe.
The Derbyshire Open, a Fringe Award winner in 2006, is an annual highlight at Buxton Museum and Art Gallery featuring remarkable work by professional and amateur artists of all ages on a Derbyshire theme. While at the Museum, you will also want to look at Collectors and Collections: Work and Pensions, an enlightening historical display celebrating the importance of Friendly Societies in supporting hard-up families during the rise of the industrial society at the beginning of the last century.
2007 also sees the return of the Burbage Art Group, now bigger than ever and featuring diverse works of art in its family-friendly free exhibition, also featuring cakes and children's quiz.
One-time Fringe chair Alan Bailey is an accomplished artist who won the Derbyshire Open's Watercolour prize in 2006 and a Fringe Award last year. A familiar exhibitor on the Fringe, he is back with 60 paintings of the Peak District exhibited at his home studio on Buxton's Green Lane. This really is a great opportunity to meet the artist and see his studio with its stunning views over town, so do take advantage of it.
If exhibitions make you tired and hungry, why not refresh yourself at Buxton's upmarket new restaurant, The Place, a new Fringe venue, where Sue Mortin will be exhibiting her contemporary paintings.
Remember the Fringe is open to all; if you are interested in taking part next year, please see the information for entrants on the website http://www.buxtonfringe.org.uk .
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