SIT select is an exciting busy arts organisation based in Stroud in the Cotswolds. It focuses on the applied arts and crafts and is passionate about promoting and profiling contemporary artists both local and national and emerging new talent as well as established big international names such as Ptolemy Mann, Matthew Harris, Mary Butcher, Carole Waller, Cleo Mussi to name a few of the hundreds of artists who have exhibited and been a part of the SIT select programme over the 10 years it has been running.
The job of running a successful busy organisation such as SIT select, is varied, creative and can, at times, be challenging. There are deadlines to meet as well as the demanding and difficult job of fundraising.
We are mainly funded by the wonderful Arts Council England but recent cuts to the arts mean that nothing is a given. Renishaw plc is a sponsor and their recognition for innovative design and creative skills is a welcome addition.
SIT select director Lizzi Walton:
‘’We run an annual festival that takes place every May with a month of exhibitions, events, workshops, talks, a conference and a recent addition of selected films. We partner with many organisations and love building contacts with Colleges and Universities who specialise in textiles and contemporary applied arts. Our Universities produce extraordinary talent in the world of design and contemporary applied arts who go on to influence and enhance our lives through architecture, fashion and interior design, crafts and innovative cutting edge work such as sustainable textiles’’
The festival takes place in the beautiful landscape of the Stroud Five Valleys, an area that had a rich heritage in the woollen industry, and the remaining Mills still stand proud in the five valleys.
Building on this history, the original festival focussed purely on textiles but since 2011 it has grown in scope and ambition to include all the craft disciplines.
SIT select’s programme challenges the public’s perception of textiles and tries to introduce innovative ideas, broadening out the vision of what textiles are in a modern world.
It is an important platform for the applied arts of the highest quality and is the only festival in the UK dedicated to contemporary textiles and crafts.
Textiles are a global language and affect all peoples worldwide with our interiors and clothing and in the world around us.
Among the arts organisation we link with is the Gloucester Guild of Craftsmen based in Cheltenham, and every year many of their artist members take part in the Select Trail and open their studios to the public.
The wonderful Museum in the Park in Stroud are close partners, as well as cafes and shops who show the work during the festival.
SIT select has respected Patrons who support and are ambassadors for the organisation.
‘’I really hope that the public will join the many thousands who come every year to the festival and enjoy learning, and seeing exciting work from designer makers who are dedicated to creating craft and design to enhance our lives and make it a more enjoyable place to live in’’
Select festival 2016 opens 30 April – 22 May
Launch 29 April at the Museum in the Park Stroud