With just days to go, and 480 venues to choose from, giving you hundreds of venues to explore across the county – in Oxford during week one (4th-12th), in South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse in week 2 (11th-19th), and in North and West Oxfordshire in week three (18th-27th). With well over 1000 artists, including hundreds of new faces with fresh ideas, taking part in nearly 500 art spaces, browse this website or get your hands on a festival guide – in libraries and at local information points – to pick out the places that appeal most.
In our May newsletter, we have chosen a few spots you might like to start in before visiting other venues nearby - or visit our press coverage to see more on some of the artists taking part.
The venues open this year include dozens of charming garden studios and impressive open houses, college cloisters and Cotswold cottages, working studios hidden deep in Wytham Woods and Wilcote Riding, a quirky phone box in Kidmore End and HMP Bullingdon. Many have a wow factor, are fascinating in their own right; or offer surprises beyond the art on show. As you explore you’ll discover the beauty of wood, from bellows to boats; find Picasso peering from a pendant or goblins to give Tolkein a run for his money and pause for a moment to look again and see how some of wonders you find were made.
In Bicester, South Oxford and in Watlington venues you can see series of photographs (by Massimiliamo Giorgeschi, Philip King and Eva Nemeth respectively) that capture the artisan in action, lost in the moment of creation. Then through the eyes of artists and designer-makers across the county, experience places as far apart as Morocco and Amazonia in striking shapes and vivid colours or choose to follow the Silk Route in Uzbekistan in photographs. There’s a chance to marvel at delicate Chinese brush strokes or to discover the diaries of ‘adventure artist’ who painted her way through challenging and formidable environments in the Arctic circle during one of the world's toughest expeditions. Closer to home, marvel at sumptuous textiles inspired by Matthew Arnold’s ‘Cumner hills’, enjoy meadows and shores by renowned British print-maker Angie Lewin, swim under the open sky, take a stroll through the woods in Chipping Norton or Didcot, or discover an Oxford University collection of ceramics from the world-famous Leach-Cardew studios.
From the real to the surreal, there’s fun of the fair and a feast for the eyes in flora, fauna, folklore and fable so whether an art collector or interested day-tripper, be enchanted, inspired and choose something unique to adorn your own home this May.
We’d love to hear where you went, what you discovered and what you chose – please do tag us in your social media posts #oxfordshireartweeks. And please, we’d love you to share what you find with your friends, family and colleagues whom you think might be interested.
Oxfordshire Artweeks is a small non-profit-making organisation dedicated to helping Oxfordshire artists and to giving the people who live and visit here the chance to see and enjoy art in a friendly way. We thank you for your support.