Sanquhar Arts Festival Celebrates Fifth Year

2023 marks the 5th year of the Sanquhar Arts Festival. The Festival takes place in Upper Nithsdale and has something for everyone, whatever age. This year sees Open Studios/Meet the maker events, films, photography, exhibitions, and performances. Events will take place at Sanquhar Tolbooth Museum, MERZ Gallery, Museum of Model Art and A’ the Airts.

Held from the 26th to the 28th of May the Festival celebrates local talent from Dumfries and Galloway, Scottish Opera, as well as international artists such as Florian Kaplick, a renowned choreographer and dancer, director, and actor with ‘Impressions of MERZ’, a free event held at A’ the Airts organised by MERZ Gallery.

Food will also play a big part in the festival with meals that can be pre-booked that coincide with performances and exhibitions. The Upper Nithsdale Tourism Partnership has been instrumental in putting the festival together and one of the organisers Dr David Rushton commented – “One of three annual festivals, this event includes the work of international artists. Artists in residence at MERZ have been making ceramics from the local clay once used in brick making, celebrating the marks and impressions in bricks from the former brickworks. We’d like visitors to explore the sound and texture of fired clay at MERZ and help us make progress towards a ceramics studio in the town.”

Yvonne Barber, another member of the group and manager at A’ the Airts has said – “Sanquhar is a beautiful little town and there is lots to do and see during the Festival, we are happy to have events in the newly refurbished and extended art Centre.  We hope that visitors and the local community take advantage of what is on offer.  All of the events are in walking distance of each other, so we hope people come and have a great weekend.”

There is a chance to experience models in the museum at Sanquhar Tolbooth.  For the weekend of the Arts Festival, the museum will be celebrating all things miniature from a toy crib to a model of the first bicycle.  A model boat made of bone by a Napoleonic soldier who was a Prisoner of War in Sanquhar in the early 1800s is on display in Sanquhar Tolbooth Museum for the first time this year.  Other items on display include a model of the Tolbooth itself and a maquette of the town’s war memorial.  Visitor to the museum can see all of these marvellous things and take place in special trails and craft activities too.

Please contact A’ the Airts for further information on any of the events scheduled on 01659 50514 or at [email protected]