The whole festival encompasses several weeks of cartoon art exhibitions, but the main weekend of drawing for the public that brings around 40 cartoonists to town is on Saturday and Sunday the 20 and 21 April 2013.
‘Cartoonists Live’ takes place mainly in Shrewsbury Market Hall and The Square from 11am–4pm each day. Cartoonists will be drawing giant cartoons, instant exhibitions, free caricatures, and ‘reverse’ caricatures where the artist draws a new body for the ‘victim’. There will also be performances of a Melodrawma – a story narrated to music and illustrated on the spot with cartoons.
On the Sunday the emphasis is on family cartooning fun in Shrewsbury’s Market Hall.
As part of its ongoing support for the development of visitor events in Shrewsbury, Shrewsbury Town Council agreed that the Market Hall could open on two Sundays during the summer; for the Cartoon Festival in April and the new Shrewsbury Food Festival at the end of June.
Shropshire Council is removing all charges in Frankwell Main, St Julian’s Friars and Abbey Foregate Long Sta car parks on Sunday 21 April 2013 for the Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival, and on Sunday 30 June 2013 for the new Shrewsbury Food Festival.
The Market Hall is also the venue for the themed cartoon exhibition ‘It’s About Time’ – 90 cartoons interpreting the theme of ‘Time’ in the upper floor gallery from 3 April – 5 May.
Cartoon Festival chairman and Shropshire cartoonist Roger Penwill said:
“We are really pleased to be working with the Visual Arts Network and Shrewsbury Market Hall again this year to make cartoon art accessible in every sense. Exhibiting in the Market Hall takes art out of the usual formal gallery settings, and makes it available as part of a shopping trip or family day out. And it is fun and interesting for people to see the artists at work in both The Square and the Market Hall.”
Mike Owen, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for tourism and culture, said:
“Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival celebrates its tenth birthday this year and is the only Cartoon Festival in the UK. It is another ‘Shrewsbury: the Original One-off’ event, bringing visitors into the town centre to enjoy the activity and spend in our shops, cafes, pubs and accommodation.”
Music from the Bridgnorth Ukelele Band will accompany artists at work, free caricatures and displays of cartoons around the Market Hall.
Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival is currently the only cartoon festival in the UK. It is supported and organised by the Professional Cartoonists Organisation, Shropshire Council, Shrewsbury Town Council and several private sector partners and sponsors.
There is more information at www.shrewsburycartoonfestival.com.
Shrewsbury Food Festival is a major new event. It takes place on Saturday 29 June 2013 and Sunday 30 June 2013 in The Quarry and around the town. www.shrewsburyfoodfestival.co.uk.