Be inspired by Creative Peninsula 2019

Our top six picks of arts and crafts events at Ards and North Down’s annual celebration of local artists and makers

Described as ‘a celebration of art and craft throughout Ards and North Down,’ the Creative Peninsula returns on August 2 for what is its 18th year, launching with Creative Peninsula in the Square. This special event will see Conway Square in Newtownards transformed into a veritable artistic haven, with more than 30 artists and makers displaying and selling their work in a tented arts and crafts village.

The one-day event includes free demonstrations in everything from glass engraving, wood turning and felting, to printing, ceramics and much more. 

With this just the tip of a jam-packed programme of events, we’ve highlighted some of our ‘top picks’ below to give you a flavour of the variety of treats on offer…

Late-night Arts Tour

Wednesday, August 7, from 7pm-10pm.

With both day and evening tours available, why not try something a little bit different and hop on board the Late-night Arts Bus? Stopping off at North Down Museum to visit the Creative Peninsula exhibition, you can also take a peek behind the doors of some of the area’s local crafters. 

Enjoy a print-making demo at Seacourt Print Workshop and another at the Pods, Project 24 - both in Bangor - along with a pottery demo at Loaf Pottery in Crawfordsburn. You can also tuck into nibbles or a glass of wine/craft beer at each location and speak to the makers as you go.

Tours depart from and return to: North Down Museum, Castle Park, Bangor.



Alfresco Afternoons: Painting flowers on silk

Sunday, August 4, from 1pm-3pm.

Join Jan Campbell for an hour of inspiration, as she creates beautiful pieces of wearable art using the ‘frame and outline’ technique. This is just one of a series of free events as part of the Alfresco Afternoons at the Courtyard at North Down Museum, which takes place on August 3 and 4.

With Saturday’s events showcasing a variety of talented wood-turners, you can also watch everything from paper bird sculpture and portrait drawing, to ceramic spoon-making and mixed media painting on Sunday.

Pizza and Pottery Night at Loaf Pottery

Thursday, August 8 from 6.30pm – 9.30pm. Children welcome.

With events throughout the day at Loaf Pottery, this special BYOW evening includes a pottery class led by Loaf Pottery’s in-house expert, Josh Lyness, followed by some delicious artisan wood-fired pizza in the café.

You’ll be taught key hand-building pottery techniques to help you make your very own piece of ceramic art - a special keepsake to remind you of an evening well spent.


Pizza Pottery

Screen-print Your Brain at Seacourt Print Workshop 

Tuesday, August 13, from 7pm-9.30pm.

Ever wondered what a brain would look like patterned into print..? Well, now you can find out, by going along to this intriguing workshop! You’ll be given a pre-printed ‘brain template’ and taught how to ‘pull a screen-print’. Then, using a heat press, mono-type and stitch, you’ll create a piece of brain-based artwork. Easy!

This particular event must be booked in advance and is limited to just six spaces. However, there are several events taking place at the Seacourt Print Workshop, including the free Open Studio and Exhibition launch, Fabrications: Unravelling Facts from Folklore by Susan Robinson, which takes place on Saturday, August 3. This textile art exhibition explores ‘the fine line between facts, fiction and folklore’ and is sure to be a delight.

Leaping Foxes and Hares with Joy Gray

Monday, August 5, from 10.30am–3.30pm.

One of a range of workshops at Ards Arts Centre, this event is for all levels, although good dexterity is a must! Whether you prefer a hare or a fox, you’ll be shown how to bring the animal of your choice to life using a variety of materials (supplied). 

Crafter, Joy Gray, will guide you in identifying the key differences in body shape between the two creatures, and how best to build up muscle and definition, before fleshing out the body. You’ll work with a sturdy frame to create your piece and the completed artwork will be mounted onto a wooden plinth.



Open Studio Weekend (August 8-11): The Creative Peninsula Exhibition (August 1–29)

If you can’t quite decide what you like best when it comes to arts and crafts, then why not check out this free exhibition at the North Down Museum, which runs throughout August? Featuring a wide variety of exclusive works from talented artists and makers based across the Ards and North Down Borough, this will be a feast for the senses and you’re sure to find something you like.

There are also exhibitions running at The Georgian and Sunburst Galleries throughout the month of August, with the principal Creative Peninsula exhibition at Ards Arts Centre.

Describing the Creative Peninsula as 'One of the most inspirational, educational and vocational arts festivals,' Mayor of Ards and North Down, Alderman Bill Keery says it draws over 20,000 people every year.

'Ards and North Down is very fortunate to have one of the largest concentrations of artists and makers living and working here and unsurprisingly the area has a thriving creative industry,' he adds. 'We’re delighted to be able to offer this event again which allows these talented individuals to showcase their knowledge and for members of the public to learn.'

For more information and to book tickets for the 2019 Creative Peninsula visit: