Norfolk town becomes an art gallery

Adam GrettonDozens of shops and high street businesses in Diss have received a cultural and tourist boost after becoming a temporary gallery for local artists.Adam Gretton

Dozens of shops and high street businesses in Diss have received a cultural and tourist boost after becoming a temporary gallery for local artists.

More than 30 traders and companies have got involved in the Waveney Springs Art Trail, which aims to promote the town and the area's creativity.

The works of 25 artists will be on display in the shop windows for the whole of September as part of the trail entitled The Closer You Get, Diss Appears.

Artists from across the Waveney Valley will also be opening up their studios to the public on the weekends of September 11 and 12 and September 18 and 19 for the initiative.

Shops and public buildings across the town centre, including the Diss Park Pavilion, Tourist Information Centre, Diss Corn Hall, and the EDP office in Mere Street, will be featuring works.

Ashton & Co estate agents and Ulric Computers will also be displaying the creations of East Harling artist John Vesty, who hit the headlines last month, after his paintings of nudes and semi-nude women were taken down within an hour from North Norfolk District Council's headquarters in Cromer following complaints.

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The art trail has already received support from a host of famous figures, including musician Rick Wakeman and art critic Brian Sewell.

South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon, who will be walking some of the route next week, said: 'This is an excellent collaboration between local shops and artists which will help increase awareness of art in everyday life. I congratulate them for bringing this exciting event to Diss and the Waveney Valley.'

Edward Nottingham, director of Merrick Hill Insurance, which is displaying a large picture of Thomas Paine's eyes, by Ned Pamphilon, added: 'As a business in Diss, any initiative that brings people into the town centre is to be welcomed. When that initiative involves art from local artists it becomes easy to support.'

For more information, visit www.waveneysprings.co.uk.

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