Calm after the Sale Arts Trail storm!

For the past four months the three organisers of the inaugural Sale Arts Trail; Sarah Malone, Jo Lavelle and myself, have been run off our feet. We have designed leaflets, booked venues and artists, spoken to the press, curated a pop-up shop, hung a huge group show, tweeted, facebooked, delivered leaflets and attached signs to posts around Sale under cover of the night.

So at 5.45pm on Friday 11th July, when all the hard work had been “done”, the three of us stood alone in the Waterside Group Show not knowing if anyone would turn up. We ordered 3 glasses of cold Pinot, clinked glasses and nervously asked each other if anyone would be coming. Five minutes later, in walked the first of about 300 visitors to the preview evening. We barely recognised a face for the first half an hour, which was brilliant as it meant the marketing had worked and it wasn’t just our lovely friends and family who had bothered to turn up. The wine we’d bought was soon depleted and Delfina’s amazing canapés from Felicinis Fabulous Buffets seemed to disappear in the first half an hour to rapturous praise.

There were positive comments about the talented artists and their amazing work on display and there was a general air of excitement about the weekend to come.

This turned out to be par for the course for the rest of the weekend. I opened my garden gates at 10am on Saturday morning and clicked 255 visitors through that day. Sunday was the same with another 230 passing through. Visitors were friendly and interested in the garden and the artwork on display. They buzzed about what a great idea the trail was and about the amazing work they’d seen. No one could believe the amount of talent a small town like Sale had hidden behind its front doors! Conversation turned to amateur artists and latent artists who had been inspired to start making again and local homeowners willing to open up their gardens and show more of our artists’ work next year. So many positive conversations.

Apart from my own paintings, I showed Nick Roberson’s beautiful stonecarvings around my garden and Gemma Truman’s stunning glasswork in my tree! The mix of work made the space a more visually interesting venue to visit.

The visitors were spotted in their droves marching the streets of Sale with arts trail maps in hand. And best of all those visitors weren’t just there to nosy at gardens, secret studios and houses. They were there to buy!!!

Whilst we haven’t added up the sales from the weekend in total yet, I know of one maker making £600 another making £2000 another over £1000. I personally sold 4 paintings and a print. Not bad at all for an exhibitor’s entrance fee of £20!

I managed to sneak out for an hour and saw the beautiful work by Sarah, jane Dzisiewski, Rachel Cooke, Tone Von Krogh, May Wilde and Sarah Thirlwell at Sarah Malone’s house. I even bagged myself some of her bargain seconds., a trio of ceramic stones that sit beautifully among my plants.

We walked as far as Serendipitea where me and my lovely friend Arwen stopped for tea and awesome cake, chatted about art and how we could update her wonderful gallery in Mumbles and I finally met the lovely Flo!

When we finally closed the gate at 5pm we locked the studio and off I went to join the organisers and some of the exhibitors at The Kings Ransom. No sooner had we arrived than the lovely Cheryl Law of Sallow Tree Concerts struck up the band and we listened to beautiful music whilst we drank wine and discussed the weekend.

No wonder it was with a heavy heart (and head) I woke up on Monday morning, removed the signs from outside my house and walked in to work. I can’t believe it’s over and can’t wait to get started on our next event!!!

Thank you to all the venues, artists, caterers (Delfina and Harrison!), musicians (Cheryl and the gang!) and visitors who wholeheartedly supported this weekend.









Sale Arts Trail – Dealing with the press!

Click here to read MEN article on the Sale Arts Trail

While Sarah Malone was busy beavering away with the beautiful design and printing for the arts trail leaflets and publicity material, and Jo Lavelle was knee deep in curating the stunning pop up shop in Sale, I was given the enviable task of getting the media on board.

When I first mentioned my task to photographer Simon Buckley who has a long history of dealing with the press I remember he gave me “that look” and wished me the best.

With a bit (lot) of help from PR gurus Emma Beck and Mark Alderton, I put some releases out there, pulled together a quote and then squeezed my eyes shut and hoped for the best.

After an unfortunate article in a feng shui magazine back in the 90s (don’t ask – it involved my best mate Naomi, several cans of Stella and photos of a toilet seat up and down) I didn’t hold out too much hope that the press wouldn’t turn my words inside out and make us sound like a trio of half wits…

Well so far our “little arts trail” has made it into Cheshire Life, In Cheshire Magazine, The South Manchester Reporter, a really good piece by Sallow Tree Concert’s Cheryl Law and the piece attached by Sarah Walters from the MEN, a really positive piece.

I am immensely proud of all the artists interviewed, I think it’s a really positive piece that puts Sale on the creative map. All artists interviewed show what a diverse and rich creative vein Sarah, Jo and I have tapped into.

With a group show preview on Friday night at the Waterside from 6-9 (all welcome!) and the studios and cafés showing work Saturday and Sunday 10-5, the three of us are already setting our sights on an even bigger trail next year!!!

Now we just have to wait til Thursday to see if Sale’s very own local paper will do us as much justice as the ones above…

Sale Arts Trail – Pop up Shop



The organisers of the Sale Arts Trail have put up a Pop Up Shop in the Square in Sale town centre. Please let us know what you think about it if you pass. The window display shows work by a small selection of the 38 artists exhibiting in the trail.

Email your thoughts to

Thank you!


Sale Arts Trail – Inside my Studio


The Sale Arts Trail has been organised by the ceramicist Sarah Malone, the jeweller Jo Lavelle and myself. The first one will be next weekend, the 11-13 July at locations on a trail around Sale incorporating artists studios, art cafés and a group show of all exhibiting artists at the Waterside in Sale.

The preview will be held at the Waterside on Friday 11th July between 6-9pm. All welcome to attend, no invitation necessary!

The studios and cafés will be open between 10-5 on the Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th July.

More details available from participating artists or email and we can email you an e-leaflet.

Looking forward to seeing you there!