It’s May and although not as warm as it could be, the bars and plazas are beginning to fill with both villagers and tourists. This weekend we expect to see a lot more people in the village as Art Gaucín begins two weekends of Open Studios. Art Gaucín has been a village drawcard for many years and showcases the formidable talents of an auspicious bunch of artists – read about Art Gaucín 2017 here.

But this May Creative Arts Gaucín, a new community group of textile artists, crafters and photographers hope to be able to learn from Art Gaucín’s success and stage their own show. That said, many of the members of Creative Arts Gaucín are no strangers to notoriety : the mainstay of Decorando Gaucín (better known as our lovely village crochet group) are numbered amongst the ranks.

Madeleine, Jane and Andrea, Creative Art’s founders, were keen to stage an event that celebrated the breadth of the village’s creativity, much of it inextricably linked with the area’s culture. The stars of Creative Arts Gaucín have to be the Textile Artists : the Quilters, Crocheters, Felters and Weavers.

Belen Montero – a local quilter who previously showed as part of Art Gaucín – is joined by other very talented and creative village quilters.

Crochet has been an important Andalucían tradition for generations. Decorando Gaucín burst onto the scene three years ago with their cheerful crochet clouds. Read about Decorando Gaucín here. Since then the village has gratefully received life-size Christmas trees, crochet flowers and an abundance of crochet ornaments.

I caught a glimpse behind the scenes of Decorando Gaucín 2018 and can tell you that this year’s crochet display is going to be really special!

Creative Arts Gaucín has certainly created a buzz in the community and it is wonderful to see both Spanish and the Ex-pats working together on something cultural. Organising the event has been a partnership between local villagers, the Ayuntomiento and members of the school. In fact, the poster for this inaugural exhibition was designed by schoolboy Pedro Garcia Morales – you might recognise his hand from previous Cuerda de Toro cartels. A very special congratulations also goes to a group of Gaucín school children who won a photography competition for International Women’s Day in March and their winning image will be on display. Talking photography, the four photographers involved demonstrate enormous diversity but as well as textiles and photography, Creative Arts Gaucín also includes ceramics, upcycling, paintings, jewellery and beautiful etchings.

I think the Creative Arts Gaucín exhibition will surprise everyone. Just as I was shocked to discover friend Salvador’s artistic leanings when I visited his huerta recently, villagers will be amazed by their neighbour’s creative side.

Who’d have thought for example, that local police man Juan Manuel, El Cid is a renowned painter of tin soldiers?

Moroccan MirrorI have to confess to being one of those neighbours with a hidden talent. – when I’m not observing life up a mountain, I’m creating. I am personally submitting four images recording local life and a hand-painted Moroccan mirror.

My Andalucía | Oxford based creative outlets are Pip Art and Chalky Chic. Commissions and art sales enquiries are welcome.

The Creative Arts Gaucín Exhibition is at the Casa de Juventud, opposite La Gasolinera | 26th – 27th May | 11:00 – 14:00 | 16:00 – 20:00 daily.

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