Essex group hosted the biennial National Silk Painting Festival in 2019 at South Essex College! We chose Southend as a seaside destination and large lively town easy to reach by train from London, by air to Southend Airport and by road.
Our theme was "Beside the Sea" -naturally!- and we took advantage of sunny summer weather to enjoy the town a little as well as workshops. Think deckchairs and beach-huts, the longest pier in the world, Victorian villas, seafront hotels, neon lights, rides and arcades, fish and chips on the promenade, and famous ice-cream sundaes!
We filled the College's Gallery for an exhibition of Challenge entries and other works, with judging and prizes. Suppliers came to sell in the lobby and we had an excellent Festival Dinner on the Saturday.
At Essex we are lucky in having space to work together, but we know each group is different, so we held a Group Challenge for poster-sized pieces, (for local Chapters of members but also we were flexible on what a "group" is), an Individual Challenge for postcard-sized pieces, and an Open Exhibition for general work.