Arts & Culture

Art exhibitions raise cash for local groups

By Sarah Edwards at

Two art exhibitions that have taken place in the Bicester area over the last few weeks attracted over 1000 visitors and helped to raise over £1,500 for local groups, according to Graham Perryman, owner of Bicester based Dragonfly Framing and the organiser and curator of both exhibitions.

Oxfordshire Artweeks ran during the second half of May and featured the work of 32 local artists and sculptors from Bicester Sculpture Group attracting 850 visitors during the course of the exhibition. Artists in the Countryside, which is also an annual event, followed on and ran from 7-9 June featuring 14 local artists and sculptors and attracting over 200 visitors.

The money raised from both the exhibitions is being donated to the Oxford Youth Arts Partnership (OYAP) and St Michaels and All Angels Church in Newton Purcell.

Graham Perryman, who voluntarily runs the Bicester Art Network, alongside Dragonfly Framing said:“Both events were an unprecedented success, raising over £1,500 for good causes. We were delighted to attract over 1000 visitors during the course of both exhibitions and the level of interest shown by the local community has helped to demonstrate that interest in art and culture is thriving in Bicester and the surrounding area.

“Alongside my day job as a picture framer, I am privileged to run the Bicester Art Network which currently has over 80 artists based in and around the town and surrounding villages. Its aim is to bring art to the community though exhibitions and art events and to forge links with local businesses, organisations and charities where art forms part of their business strategy.”

Helen le Brocq Director of the OYAP Trust said: “Since taking on the old St Edburg’s school in Bicester we have been developing the venue, Studi02, as a space for the arts, young people, artists and the wider community which is open for Bicester to develop new cultural opportunities and shared experiences. It was a genuine pleasure to offer the venue to the Bicester Arts Network for their joint exhibition. Seeing the work of experienced, amateur, professional and first time exhibiting artists across a wide range of media, all exhibiting together was impressive, and there was a real sense of a community coming together.

“For OYAP, it meant that people who didn’t know what we have been doing at Studi02 were walking through the doors to come and see the exhibition, getting to know OYAP’s work and new home, and also supporting local artists by buying their work and talking to them in person. Culture has a special way of bringing people together, and we congratulate the Bicester Arts Network and the Bicester Sculpture Group on their fantastic exhibition.”

Pictured: Graham Perryman, Dragonfly Framing, Esther Lafferty Oxfordshire Artweeks Director, Jason Slaymaker Mayor of Bicester and Donna Waterer manager at Studi02 OYAP Trust.