IN PICTURES: The biggest ArtWaves festival so far

Bridlington’s annual art festival – which encourages all ages to get creative and sees the Spa engulfed by giant inflatable tentacles – was the biggest so far.

ArtWaves is now in its fourth year and features a range of workshops and demonstrations for those who are experienced with a paintbrush, alongside the chance for anyone with no expertise to pick up a pen and doodle.

The Royal Hall was transformed into an arts hub on Saturday and Sunday, with trade stalls, children’s activities and installations, such as 36 hanging pendulums which used magnets to constantly change.

On the stage, professionals from across the UK came to share the ir tricks of the trade and encourage enthusiastic amateurs.

There was very much a hands-on feel to the festival, with children able to build dens, add their designs to walls and giant jigsaws, create tile mosaics and let their creative spirits run wild.

That all came after a fringe festival in the week leading up to the main event, which included a tailored schools day, inviting primary and secondary schools from across the region to a special event.

Festival director Lauren Frost said: “Over the two days of the main festival, visitor numbers were about the same as last year but when you look at the week as a whole, and the fact we had a much larger schools day, you are probably looking at 4,000 people involved in the project.

“We had children of all ages, from tiny babies, and they loved the arts award, where they got to go round and try different activities.

“We brought back some of the favourites from last year and introduced new ideas.

ArtWaves at Bridlington Spa

ArtWaves at Bridlington Spa

“The professional artists love it too. Nearly all of them come back every year and the new ones really enjoy it because it is different from other shows.

“They get to interact with the public and make connections with the local art societies, and the societies wouldn’t have access to them without ArtWaves.

“There is a lot more to ArtWaves than you realise on the face of it and it has been nice to see it grow.

“It is massive compared to when it started.”

The majority of the festival was based around Bridlington Spa, but it spread its wings this year, with an open-air painting competition on the harbour and a huge graffiti piece created at the park and ride site at South Cliff.

Lauren said: “The canvas looked amazing. We were really happy with it. It was about 120 metres long and 16 artists worked on it.

“We have already had street artists from LA and Switzerland wanting to come to Bridlington so that is really encouraging.”

The open exhibition had again attracted some fantastic entries, but the judges and the audience vote both selected the same winner – a piece called Girl + Chocolate = Happiness by Diana Boanas.

“You looked at it and you just had to smile,” said Lauren.

Plans are already in place to make the fifth year bigger still.

The 2019 ArtWaves Festival will take place later in the year, and is scheduled for June 1 and 2.