THE return of Borders Art Fair last weekend has been hailed as a tremendous success, attracting thousands of visitors to browse, buy and chat to artists and makers.

Preliminary estimates suggest that over 3,000 visitors invested around £130,000 in art and craft from the Borders and beyond.

More than 70 individual artists and makers, galleries, studios and collectives took part in BAF, which returned to the Borders Event Centre, Kelso from 25-27 March, after being forced to cancel in 2021 due to COVID.

Frances Fergusson, BAF Director, said: “We really didn’t know how things would work out – people are cautious over what they do and where they go due to COVID, and the rapidly rising cost of living can mean they have less to spend.

Border Telegraph: Borders Arts Fair

“So it was tremendous to be able to welcome thousands of visitors to a happy, fun and friendly event like BAF, where they could enjoy a lovely day out and see some superb art.

“And for many of the artists, this was the first in-person event they had exhibited at since BAF 2020, so it felt like we might be starting to move beyond the pandemic at long last.

“We hope this successful return will lay firm foundations for BAF to flourish and grow in the years ahead – supporting artists and makers from the Borders and far beyond, and providing a wonderful experience for visitors.”

Border Telegraph: Eilidh Muldoon Eilidh Muldoon

Demonstrations by illustrator Eilidh Muldoon, a special area dedicated to members of the Scottish Society of Artists (SSA), a new layout plus the introduction of a “festival-style” mini indoor food village (with everything from coffee and cakes to pizzas and crepes) all proved popular.