The first Chipping Norton Arts Festival, focusing on the visual arts and celebrating creativity, will take place across numerous venues in the thriving Cotswold town this weekend.

With something for everyone to enjoy, The festival on Saturday, October 5, will be a celebration of creativity linked together by the theme of ‘Connect’, says CNarts curator, Carol Harvey.

“The theme of ‘Connect’, is relevant to many of the events on the day with art to see and art to experience, happening at venues across town.”

The Festival’s headliner Of All The People In All The World, created by acclaimed international performance company, Stan’s Cafe, will be on display in the Town Hall.

This fascinating and thought-provoking installation uses piles of rice to bring formally abstract statistics to startling and powerful life in a way that is both informative and visually stunning.

James Yarker, founder of Stan’s Cafe and co-creator of the production says, “We’re delighted to be bringing the show to Chipping Norton Arts Festival for its first ever visit to Oxfordshire, after 16 years of presentations around the world. We look forward to exploring a rich array of statistics about the town and the county, as well as up-to-the-minute human statistics reflecting current affairs.”

Other Festival events include entry-free exhibitions, talks, workshops and demonstrations, including painting, drawing, book art, ceramics, fabric art, printing and comic book creation.

There will also be a High Street take-over, with pop-up exhibitions appearing in shop windows across the town, including work by the late Ian Seymour Wells, an artist who made the people of Chipping Norton his subject matter. The gallery at the Theatre will host a group exhibition on the festival’s theme of Connect; while a ‘Making Art Begins at 4’ exhibition by the youngest makers will be on display at the town’s ACE Nursery School.

A craft market showcasing the work of a variety of artisan arts and crafts makers will take place on Middle Row and there will also be a Playing-out space with music performances taking place throughout the day.

Comic fans will have the chance to draw and learn alongside top professionals at the Comics and Cartoon Creation Workshop. For children of all ages, there will be a wide range of free activities and workshops, talks and screenings from the makers behind some of the UK’s most iconic TV programmes; The Clangers, Shane the Chef (conceived in Chipping Norton), Horrid Henry, Dr Who (the storyboard artist will be in conversation with historian and local resident, Dominic Sandbrook,) as well as an event by Audio Motion – Europe’s leading Performance Capture company (Harry Potter, A Monster Calls, Maleficent and Star Wars).

This programme will end with a family screening at 4.30pm of the film The Missing Link.

“Whether you’re interested in Arthouse or Cartoons, Sci-Fi or Comedy, there’ll be something here to catch your attention,” says Andrew Wildman, Chair of CNarts.

“Chipping Norton has a longstanding reputation as an innovative hub of creative talent and is well-known for hosting outstanding events each year including The Pantomime, The Chipping Norton Literary Festival and music events from Jazz to Classical and Contemporary. The one cultural event missing until now is a festival focusing on the visual arts. This is about to change.”