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Somerset Art Weeks 2022

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SOMERSET ART WEEKS 2022 – SANCTUARY

24 Sept- 9 Oct

Somerset Art Weeks returns for 2022 with the theme 'Sanctuary'. Over 100 venues, and more than 300 artists across the county will host group exhibitions, curated shows and events from Somerset Art Works Members and invited artists. It's also a showcase for SAW-supported projects and specially-produced commissions from professional artists.

With many finding Sanctuary in Somerset during the pandemic, SAW wants to celebrate the journey to recovery of our visual senses. It's a biennial opportunity for those interested in the arts to discover high quality shows and exhibitions in unique and inspiring locations across Somerset.

Visitors to this year's event can expect to see art in all manner of venues including loft spaces, tithe barns, stables, museums, churches, farms, libraries, a prison and, depending on plans, maybe even a quarry or an abbey! Somerset Art Weeks Festival is always a great opportunity to venture into some of those buildings or spaces you've always passed by and wondered what's in there – and the art provides another layer of interest and interpretation, or just a good excuse to peer inside!

Many of the counties' arts organisations and spaces are on the map too, all providing a variety of experiences and things to see and do. Somerset Art Weeks is a space for SAW Members to collaborate, connect and create something different to surprise and delight audiences. Alongside established Somerset galleries and art spaces taking part, expect to see curated shows in some of the counties' important historical buildings and community places.

A huge variety of visual art can be seen and experienced – from installations focussing on drawings made by wind machines, to poetry interventions responding to the birthplace of English Romanticism, and a host of special new commissions. There are also many group shows and collaborations as artists seek to collectively join forces, and visitors can explore community spaces such as village halls and churches repurposed for Art Weeks.

With Somerset Art Works recently declaring the Climate Emergency, this year's event has an increasing focus on Sustainability and artists whose practice centres on our relationship to the natural world, and there are various responses to the theme- what might Sanctuary mean to you? Many venues will also feature work which engages with shared experiences of the past few months but in ways which seek to highlight positive changes or allow visitors to contemplate.

There's a full event programme for Somerset Art Weeks this year too, with talks, walks and workshops focussing on making art, wellbeing and a return to nature. Each weekend will be Family Friendly, with arts activities for Families of all shapes and sizes, encouraging us all to 'have a go'.

Finally, this year's Art Weeks event enables Somerset Art Works to exhibit specially-commissioned work by Somerset based artists as well as those from further afield: keep an eye on the SAW website and social media for updates and announcements, and some big news stories over the summer.

The Somerset Art Weeks Guide is back for 2022 and will be available from August, so visitors can see what's on, who is taking part and can start planning their visits, along with the SAW website and App to follow. It's a welcome return to a full Art Weeks event, so get the dates in your diary now!

For more information and updates, please take a look at the Somerset Art Works website or contact Art Weeks Coordinator Paul Newman artweeks@somersetartworks.org.uk

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