Visitors watch artists at work during Cookham and Maidenhead Arts Trail

The Cookham and Maidenhead Arts Trail (CAMAT) was enjoyed by artists and visitors alike at the weekend.

Set across several venues on Saturday and Sunday, the event gave local artists the opportunity to exhibit their work and visitors the chance to browse and buy.

Julie Bennett showcased her paintings in CAMAT for the first time at 124 Studios in Nicholsons.

“It was so much busier than I imagined,” Julie said.

“We were a little bit unsure because of COVID, we didn’t really know what was going to happen, and everybody was brilliant.

“We put two bottles of hand sanitiser on the door, and everybody arrived in masks, so we were really pleased with how everybody presented themselves.”

Julie said what people ‘were very pleased with’ was the opportunity to see the artists at work.

This included resident 124 Studios artists who paint, like Julie, and guest artists Stephen Bryne, who was working in pastels, and Grant Forsyth, who specialises in jewellery.

“We’re all so different that it gives a variety for the visitors,” she said.

Julie herself spent the trail completing her tenth ‘Portraits for NHS heroes’ painting and she said people were ‘really taken’ by her nine completed portraits on display.

“You could see that people were really taken by them and touched by them, and then they’d tell me their lockdown stories and the sort of things they’d done in lockdown.”

The weekend was also successful for Jill Chadwick, 56, a Maidenhead fused glass artist and a member of the CAMAT committee.

Jill showcased her work at her home in Altwood Bailey, where she also hosted several other artists – in the garage, in gazebos, and in the open-air too given the ‘beautiful’ weather.

“We had a good number of visitors and lovely weather and lots of sales and lots of fabulous compliments,” said Jill. “Which I must admit I’ve really missed in the last six months.

“I didn’t realise how much, it’s very motivational when people love what you do and enjoy it.

“And I really enjoyed being here with the other artists.”

She added: “We’ll be back again next year.”

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