Discovering Oxfordshire through Oxfordshire Artweeks
Established in 1981 Oxfordshire Artweeks is the country’s biggest and oldest open studio event.With more than 500 participating artists the May festival presents the perfect opportunity to open eyes, minds and imaginations to Oxfordshire and no end of interesting visual art experiences within it from painting, photography, textiles, sculpture and ceramics, to furniture, glass, mosaics, jewellery, digital art and much more.
The event is divided up into three weeks, with the concentration on exhibitions in Oxford City taking place from 7-15 May, moving to South Oxfordshire from 14-22 May, and finally into North Oxfordshire from 21-30 May.
Not only does Oxfordshire Artweeks present a fantastic way to expose one’s self to new art of all disciplines, it’s also a really fun way to explore the county. For those wishing to make a day exploring Oxfordshire through art, a number of towns, villages and pockets in the city are producing their own Artweeks trail guides to help visitors plan their days out and find exhibition venues along an easily navigable route (these will be available to download at artweeks.org from May).
Festival Director, Esther Lafferty remarked, “Oxfordshire Artweeks is a great opportunity to explore the county’s nooks and crannies! You’ll find studios in old coal bunkers, pig pens and even some East Oxford factory toilets have been upcycled to make a quirky space for a ceramicist! And you can find art everywhere – on the waterways (from the canal in Jericho to Radley boathouse), on the Ridgeway, in Oxford Colleges, country manor houses, National Trust villages and even deep in the woods at Wytham.” BBC Art Correspondent, Will Gompertz, added,
“ArtWeeks is a highlight of my cultural calendar. The breadth and depth of the art on display is always eye-boggling: quality and quantity guaranteed. What's more, it's affordable and often comes with a warm cuppa or a chilled wine! ArtWeeks is a finely polished jewel in Oxfordshire's splendid crown.”
I would urge anyone visiting the county to indulge in a little (or a lot) of the delights that Oxfordshire Artweeks has to offer!
By Sarah Mayhew Craddock
• Oxfordshire Artweeks www.artweeks.org in North Oxon & the Cotswolds 21st-30th May 2016
• The whole festival 2016 runs from 7th-30th May with a focus on Oxford city from 7th-15th May and South Oxon 14th-22nd May
• Artweeks is celebrated across Oxfordshire in partnership with local arts centres, museums, and other Oxfordshire organisations, with support from The Oxford Times and Hamptons International.
• Artweeks is Oxfordshire’s largest visual arts festival and the UK’s oldest and biggest Open Studios event, is a three-week not-for-profit celebration in May each year of the county’s artistic and creative talent encompassing the visual arts in their broadest sense. Around 1000 artists open the doors to their homes and studios and welcome the public to see their creations and watch them work –over 100,000 people visit Artweeks exhibitions each year and a million pounds of art changes hands!