14 August 2015

Alexandra Sitwell, owner of Renishaw Hall and daughter of the late Sir Reresby and Lady Sitwell, will judge this year’s Art in the Gardens “Portraits of Distinction” competition at the event’s VIP preview evening.

The preview evening, which will also feature live music and a bar as well as the main exhibition of paintings, sculpture, crafts and more, will be held from 6.30pm on Friday 4 September at the Botanical Gardens, off Clarkehouse Road.

The preview is always a popular opportunity to have a sneak preview of Art in the Gardens before it opens to the public the following day.

Alexandra is the subject of this year’s portrait competition, with previous subjects including Pulp drummer Nick Banks, television presenter Bradley Walsh, former Coronation Street actor Bruce Jones, music icon Dave Berry, artist Joe Scarborough, BBC weather presenters Paul Hudson and Lisa Gallagher, the Earl and Countess of Scarborough, Olympic high diver Monique Gladding and BBC Radio Sheffield’s Toby Foster and Rony Robinson.

Councillor Isobel Bowler, cabinet member for neighbourhoods at Sheffield City Council, said: “As the biggest outdoor arts and crafts show in the North, the quality and sheer scale of Art in the Gardens is one of the main reasons that people come back year after year.

“A programme of entertainment, activities for all the family, and a craft market mean that even those who don’t consider themselves to be art buffs will find Art in the Gardens to be a fantastic day out.

“And that’s even before you consider one of the biggest draws of all – the beautiful Botanical Gardens itself with its myriad delights, including the hidden Bear Pit, which will once again be playing host to artworks both during the preview evening and during the main event itself.”

Artists from Sheffield and beyond still have time to enter the Portraits of Distinction competition.

Those who wish to take part should collect a photograph of Alexandra from Sheffield Town Hall, along with entry forms.

The artwork then needs to be delivered to Sheffield Botanical Gardens on the morning of Friday 4 September.

The Sitwells have lived at Renishaw Hall for almost 400 years and have always been avid collectors and patrons of the arts.

Celebrating its twelfth anniversary this year, Art in the Gardens will fill Sheffield’s Botanical Gardens with around 300 artists and craft workers, exhibiting more than 4,000 pieces of their work, on Saturday, 5 September and Sunday, 6 September.

Each year, around 10,000 visitors come from across the country to view the top-quality work at the North of England’s largest outdoor art show.

The range of creativity on display includes photography, ceramics, textiles, print making, leatherwork, wood turning, glass work, jewellery, and sculptures in metal, wood, and stone.

There is also a dedicated children’s area, a stage with musical performances throughout the weekend, an Open Art Exhibition, artists, a bustling market and the gardens themselves to explore and enjoy.

Art in the Gardens is grateful for the support of sponsors Haybrook, Heart and Henry Boot PLC.

For more information visit www.artinthegardens.com or join the Facebook event page to keep up-to-date with latest information.

Tickets for the preview evening cost £6 and one ticket admits two adults. They are now available from Tourist Information in Surrey Street, next to the Winter Garden.

No children are allowed at the preview evening, though accompanied children are admitted free to the main Art in the Gardens event itself.