October 14, 2006

PAINT YOURSELF INTO HISTORY AT
STEYNING MUSEUM’S BIG DRAW ART DAY

As part of the nationwide Big Draw Art Day on Saturday 14th October, Steyning Museum is welcoming all comers to add their own picture to the history of the town. Whether artist or amateur, toddler or Titian, anyone can add a piece to the Big Picture of historic Steyning market through the ages. This will be a great event to bring all the family along to. Youngsters will be encouraged to think about history and express their ideas artistically, and just the same applies to the grown ups!

The Big Picture will consist of three large connecting panels depicting Steyning Market through the ages - Medieval, Tudors & Stuarts, and Victorian. To this background participants are invited to add their own artworks - people in period costume, market stalls, animals - sheep, horses, cows, pigs, a horse and cart perhaps, or maybe several characters depicting an historical or interesting happening in the busy marketplace. Let your imagination run away with you - and if you suffer from artist's block of course there is a whole museum full of exhibits to inspire you, and historic costumes to help you get a feel for whichever period of history you fancy entering into.

Whatever you contribute to the crowded scenes will takes its place in the Big Picture, which will go on display in the Museum and become a part of Steyning’s history - your very own part!

Sessions at the Museum run from 10am to 12 noon, 12.30 to 2.30pm, and 3 to 5pm, and each session will have an expert artist and plenty of assistants on hand to provide hints, help and artists’ materials. Choose to draw with pencils or charcoal, coloured pens or crayons, chalks or pastels. Perhaps you prefer to paint or try a collage with paper, wool or fabric, or experiment with a multi-media mixture. Whatever your preference, all you need will be provided free of charge, and refreshments will also be available. If you are already a practising artist you would be most welcome to bring your own equipment.

There will plenty of materials and plenty of room as the event will overflow into the Penfold Hall, next door to the Museum in Church Street. The Museum’s Curator Chris Tod, Education Officer and organiser of the Big Draw Jacqui Buttriss, artist-in-residence Janet Keystone, and stewards will be on hand to offer expert help and guidance and answer any questions.

When the historic scenes are on display, proud children and parents or experienced artists alike will be able to visit the Museum and show off their work to impress friends and family. If you want a record of your part in Steyning history, digital photographs of your own piece of work or the whole Big Picture will be available for collection.

Whether art catches your fancy or not, don’t miss out on a visit to Steyning Museum with its marvellous new extension opened this summer. Come face to face with Steyning Man, whose one thousand year old skeleton was discovered at the mysterious local site known for centuries as Heathen Burials. He now lies on the very earth from his grave in a specially constructed glass sarcophagus. You will also find a permanent display and regular exhibitions following the town’s history from prehistoric times right up to the present day. Don’t forget, we are still making history and whatever you contribute to the Big Draw Art Day will be as fascinating to our descendants in years to come as the legacy of our ancestors on display in the Museum is today.

Why not spread the news of your creative endeavours and the town’s fascinating history further? With today’s technology you can send copies of your work to people at home and abroad, even turn your digital prints into greeting cards or enlarge a copy for framing at home. This is not something our technologically pioneering ancestors, the Victorians could have imagined, let alone our more distant cousins of Tudor and Medieval times.

The Museum is holding the Big Draw Art Day as part of thousands of events taking place nationwide and it is planned to make it an annual event. See what else is going on at the Big Draw website, www.drawingpower.org.uk. You can also find out more about Steyning and its history from the Museum’s own website here, where you will also find lots of links to sites of related interest - very useful for help with homework or exploring the wider history of Sussex.

Materials for the day have kindly been funded by a grant from the Co-op Community Dividend Fund.

David Haseldine
Publicity Officer
The Museum,
Church Street,
Steyning,
West Sussex
BN44 3YB
Telephone: 01903 813333
Email: contact@steyningmuseum.org.uk

Collage

The Big Draw at Steyning Museum was a great success.
This is the final result, displayed in the Museum foyer.

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