Be Inspired by Artwave 2016

Sarah Oyetunde painting Cat sculpture  Artwave books

Be Inspired by Artwave 2016 – the annual visual arts festival for Lewes District all set to be the biggest and best ever!

A summer visual arts festival in East Sussex, supported by Lewes District Council is now in its 23rd year. Artwave is one of the biggest and most vibrant artist’s open house festivals in the East Sussex calendar. This year the festival will run for three weekends, including the bank holiday, from 20 August until 4 September 2016 and takes place across the historic town of Lewes, in the coastal towns of Seaford, Newhaven and Peacehaven and picturesque villages of the South Downs, and beyond.

It looks set to be the most exciting year ever with over 120 venues taking part, including open houses and studios, galleries, shops, cafes and pubs, hosting over 400 different artists and makers. The unique aspect about Artwave is discovering the unexpected, from the different types of art on show to the venues that host them; it’s the variety that really makes Artwave so special.

Artwave is not a curated festival but one which encourages an exciting mix of artistic mediums and talents.  You can find bespoke leather books, printmaking, sculpture, paintings, jewellery, photography, textiles and ceramics amongst the art on show.  Many of the venues are working studios, which give visitors a real sense of how artists make their work. 

We have organised the festival into the popular trails again, and this year, include a Haven Trail in Peacehaven and Newhaven, four different Rural Trails and our town ones in Seaford and Lewes.  The trails can help you to take in several venues on your day out or over a weekend.  Artwave is a great way to see the district!

Lewes and Seaford Tourist Information Centres are the Artwave hubs for brochures, venue leaflets and face-to-face help and advice on how to get to the different venues, as well as other useful information about the area.  Be sure to visit to plan your art filled days.
As well as exhibitions, there’s an array of workshops and events taking place, including alfresco life drawing, arts psychotherapy taster sessions, children’s scavenger hunts, book making, stone carving and even creating your own art masterpiece on a piece of cake.  Lots of the workshops are free or low cost and geared up to entertain the children.  All events are listed on Artwave website, and you can also find them and other children’s activities for summer holidays on

For a special preview night of work on show, thirteen venues in Lewes town are opening their doors on Friday 19 August evening between 6pm and 8pm for insider views.  Downloadable maps are available on the website or pick up in person from Lewes Tourist Information Centre.

We are bringing back the popular Artwave Favourite Awards this year, for festival visitors to vote for their favourite artists and favourite venue. The winners will feature in the promotional material for next year’s festival as well as being profiled in Viva Lewes.  The front cover of this year’s Artwave brochure features a woodcut by Keith Pettit, voted as favourite artist last year. Artwave Favourite Awards are sponsored by Viva Lewes, the Chair of Lewes District Council and Lewes District Business Awards. Please be sure to place your vote! 

Councillor Nigel Enever, Chair of Lewes District Council said:  “Artwave continues to grow and expand across our beautiful district and surroundings every year, and with 123 different venues to visit and almost 400 different artists and makers taking part, 2016 is no exception.  The variety of venues is immense this year and includes studios and galleries, a pizzeria, cafes, a leisure centre and even a caravan.  The popular trails are a great way to work your way around the festival with a coastal, four different rural trails and two town ones in Seaford and Lewes. So don’t delay start planning your unique Artwave experience now. Thank you to everyone who support Artwave and make this festival a success.”

Art is being made all over the Lewes district, in some beautiful and unexpected locations.  Immerse yourself in the art, meet the different artists and makers, watch demonstrations and be inspired.
Join the Twitter conversation @artwavefestival  #artwave
For further information please contact: 07920 137793iror

Story published on 15 August 2016