Malmesbury Street Art Trail returns

By Anita Jaynes on 12 August, 2023

A summer of exhibitions continues in Malmesbury as the town’s High Street is turned into an art gallery showcasing the talents of local artists.

The Mayor of Malmesbury, Cllr Gavin Grant will declare the High Street ‘gallery’ open at the Market Cross at 10.30am on Saturday 12th August with the trail running until Saturday 16th September. 

The Malmesbury High Street + Art Gallery event is organised by Malmesbury Town Council, led by Cllr Kim Power, and is a fun and interesting way of promoting the town, by bringing together shops and local artists. 

Former mayor Kim Power, said, “Shop windows in the High Street become an art gallery for displaying local artists’ work. A map of window locations and artists is available on our website, or a paper copy can be picked up from the Tourist Information Centre. So, please come to the town and take part in this free art trail, as there is something for everyone. Please also tell your family and friends to visit and support all those taking part. It’s a fantastic collaboration.”

Helen Chapman runs the Fabric Shack in the High Street and has taken part in the arts trail enthusiastically.

“We are thrilled to be taking part for the 3rd year running. We love this unusual and interesting way to discover Malmesbury’s talented creators and it’s great to be able to play host as it adds interest to our window displays and helps promote what we offer. Hopefully it will inspire others to get creative too!

“We have certainly noticed groups of people doing the tour and often they’ll pop in to see what we’re all about.

“I am a huge fan of our artist Jennifer Storer’s work and the picture we’re getting is in our colour scheme so I’m hugely tempted to get it myself!”

Visitors can choose to browse the shops at their leisure or follow the art trail map, starting at the Town Hall and finishing at the Market Cross, taking in all participating locations.

“Malmesbury is already a great and historic place, but this is an added attraction which will encourage even more people to visit during the summer. The 32 artists taking part are providing a variety of different artwork, modern and traditional, glasswork, textiles and more, so there is something for all to enjoy. Also, the work is available to purchase over a wide price range. For the complete experience, visitors can browse our unique shops and maybe stay to enjoy a coffee or meal in town. Kim said.

Tom Bowerman runs The Wild Food Co. 

“We are taking part as we love to support local makers and creators – something we already do every day with locally made foods and Malmesbury themed gifts. It’s great to be able to help a local artist get some more exposure using our window space.”

And if you like a piece of work and want to buy it? 

“People who wish to buy an artwork pay for it at the Town Hall TIC,” Kim explains. “The shop will then release it to them and it will be replaced in the shop window with another piece of artwork from the same artist.”

For each piece of art sold, the shop receives a 20% commission and the artist receives the remaining 80%.

Last year’s gallery proved successful with many participating shops seeing an increase in footfall while the event was running, providing a boost to both businesses and artists in the town. 

Kim added, “Malmesbury and nearby villages have a wealth of talented artists. By organising the High St Art Gallery, we are giving visitors a free opportunity to appreciate and even buy this fantastic local artwork. Also, it’s another fun reason to visit our historic town centre with its unique shops. Children especially enjoy following the Art Gallery Map and spotting the artwork.”

An art trail guide can be downloaded here.

Pictured above: Helen Chapman owner of Fabric Shack with the art of her dedicated artist Jennifer Storer.