MUSIC, sculpture and sewing were on offer at an arts showcase.

The Old Town Hall in Weymouth was chosen as the venue to launch Dorset Loves Arts, a month-long campaign to encourage participation in art and cultural events to improve people’s quality of life.

It was an apt location for the event as the hall is being transformed into an arts and heritage venue by a community interest company.

There was a wide range of activities to see throughout the day including Sophie Sherwood’s stitch ‘n’ bitch sewing club.

The group includes sewers, knitters, quilt makers and other craftspeople who meet at the hall every fortnight to have a chat and create.

University student Sophie, 22, from Weymouth, says more than 30 people are now turning up to sessions to get creative.

“We motivate and inspire one another,” she said.

Visitors to the hall enjoyed live music courtesy of the Mad Ox Brothers, Bebe and Paolo, Ian Sedwell and Emma Brown with Leighton McGrath.

There was also poetry, belly dancing, tattoo demonstrations, glass jewellery, fossil art and pottery.

Representatives from Mowlam Metalcraft brought along their dinosaur sculpture and spent the day making a 6ft-long sabre-toothed tiger from donated bits of metal.

Town hall guardian Martin Hedley said: “The day was a fantastic success.

“The day started with presentations by Roderick Knight from the Dorset Strategic Partnership and Dorset County Council’s arts development manager Mike Hoskin.

“On the success of this event Dorset Loves Arts has formed a working group which will help to promote arts organisations in Dorset and ensure we keep talking to each other.

“There were many organisations that didn’t contribute on the day which shows that there is a need for us to keep talking.”

Mr Hedley said he would like to thank Weymouth and Portland Borough Council for allowing the use of an area of car park and donating a PA system.

Roderick Knight, chairman of DSP’s arts and culture theme group, said: “My message on the day was threefold.

“To thank all the artists and volunteers, to reiterate our support for arts organisations, and to reinforce the fact that these organisations play an important role in developing the health of communities.”

For more information about arts events visit: