Ryde Arts Festival 2016: Ten days of art, poetry, music and much more

The 2016 Ryde Arts Festival (23rd June to 3rd July) promises ten days of wonderful art, live music, poetry, comedy, puppetry and much, much more. Make sure you check out what’s on with our handy guide.

Pier at night

The Ryde Arts Festival returns to the Isle of Wight in just a couple of weeks (23rd June to 3 July) and the team have many wonderful treats in store for you.

If you thought the brilliant Mennyms couldn’t be topped, prepare to be amazed by the packed programme of fantastically creative events.

Click on images to see larger versions
Puppet at Ryde Arts Festival

As mentioned earlier in the year, Isle of Wight artist Jo Hummel Newell was selected as Artist in Residence as part of a two year project called GROWRYDE.

The project was inspired by Ryde’s Silver Gilt Award in the 2015 round of Britain in Bloom and although the plans are currently at “seedling stage”, Jo has already been sharing her superb paper engineering skills with some of Ryde’s primary schools.

Little Green Fingers!

Coming up this weekend (Saturday 11 June), Jo will be hosting a free Family Drop-in day at The Depozitory on Nelson Street, Ryde to create a miniature garden tower.

Thanks to hosts from Ryde Business Association, you’ll soon also be able to seek out the commissioned giant seed packets which will form a ‘spot the seed packet’ trail around Ryde during the arts festival.

Bath garden on the allotment

Live music
The opportunities to grow musically will be celebrated on the official opening evening of Ryde Arts Festival with Voices of the Wight at Aspire.

There’ll be Jazz at the new venue of St.Michael’s Church, Swanmore and the wonderfully talented Puzzle Muteson (below) will host an evening of live music at The Depozitory, where a curated exhibition shows artists’ germinating new ideas.

Puzzle Muteson by Tom Roelof

Poetry please
Enjoy more homegrown talent at Michaelangelos at the bottom of Union Street, where an assembly of invited Stanza poets will read at their own special Tea Party.

The same evening Shakespeare’s poetry will flourish at St. Mary’s Church.

Fabulous flora
The town has been a hive of activity over the last few weeks with pottery students at Riboleau House Resource Centre making these gorgeous ceramic flowers for a pop-up garden.

Cutting paper flowers

The flowers should be ready in time for the Garden Party in Vernon Square on Sunday 26th June. All are invited.

You’ll also be able to go on a exploration of Swanmore Meadows and the flowering areas of Ryde Cemetery with nature experts, Matthew Chatfield and Ian Boyd.

Luscious lavender

Visitors to the Esplanade are invited to look out for an amazing moving garden, courtesy of brilliant Isle of Wight public artists, Eccleston George.

Fringe on tour
Ryde Arts Festival are excited to be also be sharing the Festival with contributions by their friends from Ventnor Fringe.

The Fringe will be taking Pop-Up to the fertile soil of Ryde, showcasing comedy and theatre.

Wireless by Ventnor Fringe

Details of all Ryde Arts Festival events can be found on Events OnTheWight.

Most events are free, but a donation is very welcome.

More in coming months
In the Autumn there’ll be groups working on a garden inspired by a book, more ceramic, knit and stitch themed groups will be advertised.

Composers have been commissioned to grow Four Quartets inspired by our Stanza poets.

All these and more will be promoted on the Website, so look out and get involved with GROWRYDE for its Big Grow Show in June 2017!

Images: © Julian Winslow
Image: © Puzzle Muteson by Tom Roelofs

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