Oxfordshire Artweeks is the UK’s oldest and biggest open studios and pop-up exhibition event, and the 38th festival, in the planning for spring 2020, promises to be brighter and bolder than ever before. Artists, potters, photographers, silversmiths, furniture-makers and more throw open doors across the county to welcome visitors, for free, into over 500 pop-up exhibitions at nearly 400 different locations throughout May (2nd-25th). As many as 1500 Oxfordshire artists, artisans and designers, including more than 250 new exhibitors, are showcasing their creative talent, explaining their materials and, often, demonstrating their methods.
During the festival, visitors will be able to see, touch and talk about hundreds of thousands of pieces of art and craft from the tiniest earrings to towering sculpture created from metal, wood, clay and glass. Visitors can see iconic Oxford views and local landscapes through fresh eyes or travel to exotic destinations in the art inspired by colours, styles and fabrics brought back to Oxfordshire from far flung places.
The wonders of the natural world have inspired dozens of artists to paint and sculpt birds and beasts, blossoms and buildings from the tigers of the Indian Delta to the crumbling beauty of Cuban streets.
A number of artists this year are focusing attention on environmental issues, from the conservation of habitats to climate activism, in their art. Others are championing ethical fashion and upcycling – in furniture, lamps, mosaics and more - to protect the planet’s resources.
Another series of exhibitions showcase contemporary art and craft inspired by Oxfordshire’s museum collections, bringing contemporary insights to ancient artefacts in ceramics, textiles, handmade prints and more. Visitors can also expect the unexpected as traditional boats, Victorian rocking-horses, contemporary concrete creations and avante-garde hairdressing make an appearance.
The festival includes venues from garden sheds to grand manors and this year, for the first time, visitors will also be able to enjoy Artweeks within the moat of 14th century Broughton Castle.
Oxfordshire Artweeks is supported by Designers Guild and OX magazine.