THE fourth annual Chester Arts Fair launches this weekend and there's plenty to do and see for all the family.

Here's our pick of some of the artwork on show...


1. Claire House silent auction of Mike McCartney artwork

Wirral Globe:

Mike McCartney’s signed work will be sold through a silent auction, with all proceeds going to the Bebington-based hospice.

As well as holding the silent auction, Claire House will be bringing along to the fair artwork donated by fellows and graduates from Wirral Met, which will be available to buy and view.

Visitors to the fair will also be able to purchase tickets for the Claire House raffle draw.

Returning for the fourth year, the fair will see its children’s area transformed into the Claire House Corner offering a wide range of fun arts and play activities for children of all ages.

Activities will include storytelling sessions lead by staff from Chester Library who will bring stories and characters to life with story sacks in the cosy children’s corner. Scheduled times are available to view on the website now.

Children will also have the opportunity to delve into a dressing up treasure chest to see what costumes they can find, have their photo taken with Claire Bear and be entered into a prize draw to a win a voucher for The Entertainer.

Fun arts and craft activities will also be available to let your little artists create a masterpiece to take home.

Claire Farrow, from Claire House, said: “We are so excited to be working in partnership with Chester Arts Fair and immensely grateful to the fair’s organisers, exhibitors and visitors. Their support means more children and families than ever before can benefit from Claire House’s care, support and choice.”


2. Best of Wirral's new artists

Wirral Globe:
Artwork by Wirral arist Phil Houghton.

The New Artist area is designed specifically for the Fair to help emerging artists trying to further their career in the art world and to provide a platform for them to showcase their work at a professional event.

Wirral-based artist Annabelle Stone will be one of the artists exhibiting her work on the New Artists Stand. She said: “I’ve reached a stage now where I am ready to exhibit to a wider audience and am passionate about drawing in chalk, charcoal and pastels. I’m really pleased to have been selected to exhibit in the new arts area, among so many other artists and galleries and am looking forward to it.”

Exhibiting alongside Annabelle is another Wirral-based artist, Phil Houghton, a painter and drawer who focuses on the picturesque landscapes of Cheshire and Wirral.

Also, photographer Karen Lawrence has been selected to take part in the fair as an emerging artist for the first time.


3. Wirral painter who creates his masterpieces using tea and alcohol

Wirral Globe:

While most of us will keep the vodka and brandy for when we’ve had a particularly tough day at the office, Wirral-born Carne Griffiths uses his to create breathtaking works of art, which he then sells for up to £4,000.

The 42-year-old, who grew up in Pensby, uses tea as a wash on his ink and graphite drawings, as well as vodka, brandy and whisky.

Carne - who has just completed successful solo exhibitions in Hong Kong and Milan – will exhibit at the Chester Arts Fair this weekend. 

Fair director, Shirley-‐Ann O’Neill said: “This is a rare opportunity to view and buy Carnes work at the Fair. We have an exclusive collection of limited edition prints from £200 and original pictures from £2,500, which we are expecting to be popular with visitors and collectors alike."


4. Rare original Nelson Mandela art

Wirral Globe:

The drawings and handwritten motivations by Nelson Mandela to accompany the works are of great historical significance.

The collective is being presented exclusively at the fair by the prestigious art house, The Belgravia Gallery from London.

Following an event with the Nelson Mandela family and Graca Machel last year launching the Nelson Mandela Opus publication, which features 30 pages on the art collection by Nelson Mandela, Belgravia Gallery are exhibiting three original works at the Chester Arts Fair, along with lithographs based on his time on Robben Island.



Times and listings of all tours, talks, live demonstrations and workshops can be found online at

The Fair will be open from 10.30am to 5pm on Saturday and Sunday at Chester Racecourse.

Tickets can be booked early online or alternatively there will be the opportunity to purchase tickets at the Fair reception.