Popular quirky market returning to Old Leigh next month - here's all the details

Busy - Leigh Artist Market <i>(Image: Sean Buckley)</i>
Busy - Leigh Artist Market (Image: Sean Buckley)

A MUCH-LOVED market is set to be bring Leigh’s Strand Wharf to life with painters, mosaic artists, photographers, and live art demonstrations.

Old Leigh Artists’ Market will return on Bank Holiday Monday, on May 6, between 10am and 4pm.

Around 25 artists will be selling their art in the eighth market of its kind since the popular event launched in the Old Town five years ago.

Live demonstrations proved a huge hit last year and the organisers have promised more of the same, with plenty of new faces giving an insight into their artistic process by chatting to visitors as they work.

Among those meeting the crowds on Strand Wharf this time is artist Nicola Osborne, whose new “Navigations” series of textured abstracts will be available for the first time.

She said: “I am so looking forward to this as it’s always such a great event. The Artists’ Market is a chance for us artists to meet the public and catch up with each other.

“Sometimes being an artist is a solitary and lonely activity. But this reminds us that we create for the love of it and are making for others to enjoy. Old Leigh Artists’ Market is a place of celebration for us, as well as a great day out.”

Another artist joining Nicola is Paula Pavitt, who makes beautiful coastal scenes using reclaimed wood, driftwood, and metal. She has a collection of new work ready to unveil.

The event first launched in Leigh’s Old Town in May 2019, and has run ever since on every May and August bank holiday, excluding a pause during the pandemic.

Organiser John Pearman said: “Our last market at the end of August was a huge success, with visitors browsing the stalls in perfect summer weather. There was a lovely atmosphere as the tide came in and our plein-air painters lined up along the sea wall to capture the scene. The event has gone from strength to strength, and it is wonderful to see people take it to their hearts.”

“Our vision was always that it would be more than somewhere to buy fantastic art. We wanted people to watch paintings, sculptures and pottery being produced. One of the reasons people love living in and visiting Leigh is the sense that this is an artistic community and taking art outside is an important part of that. Sometimes people find the art scene a bit stuffy, but our market is the opposite of that, despite the incredible talent on show. We are all about making art and artists accessible.”