IN welcome contrast to the weather for the recent royal visit, Peel basked in sunshine when Lieutenant Governor Adam Wood came to the House of Manannan for the launch of the Western Open Studio Art Trail.
At the Saturday launch, he praised organisers Myra Gilbert and Kate Jerry of The Creative Network on bringing 55 artists together in a collaborative venture that was ‘imaginative and creative’ and commented on ‘the extraordinary creative ability that seems to flourish here in Peel, which is one of my favourite towns in the island’.
Further encouragement came from the Director of Manx National Heritage, Edmund Southworth who was delighted that the gallery space at the House of Manannan was included in the trail, which took place on Saturday and Sunday May 12 and 13.
It stayed dry on Sunday too as streams of visitors meandered through the streets of Peel, admiring diverse artworks in many of the shop windows and seeing artists at work in their own private studios. These included Myra’s own studio at The Shipyard and Kate’s at 15 Church Street.
The trail extended further afield to Patrick and St John’s, with displays and demonstrations at Green’s Tea Rooms in St John’s, the Isle Gallery, at Tynwald Mills and Patrick Church, which proved to be a lovely venue.
Myra and Kate invested 100 days in planning the event, which they hope will lead to an all-island open studios event next year.
Myra said: ‘It was fantastic, exceeding all expectations.
‘There must have been up to a thousand people following the trail. It certainly proved that people are interested and appreciated it happening. Not only did visitors say they enjoyed it, but the artists themselves enjoyed it, so it was a success from every aspect.’