Oxfordshire Artweeks was founded in 1981 by a group of professional Oxford-based artists who, having seen the model in the United States, thought that a festival of ‘open studios’ could work well in the UK. The first Oxfordshire Artweeks festival took place in 1982. The aim was to establish a county-wide event whereby the public could be invited to enjoy visual art away from the formality of a gallery setting, in a relaxed environment and with direct access to the artists.
This formula has proved to be so successful that it has been replicated throughout the United Kingdom. In Oxfordshire, there are now nearly 500 sites each year, as well as special exhibitions and events, tours, talks, workshops and demonstrations to appeal to all ages. Oxfordshire Artweeks is the largest visual arts festival in the county.