Celebrating Artwave 2016 – the most successful ever

Artwave favourites winners 2016 

This summer’s visual arts and makers’ festival supported by Lewes District Council, has exceeded all expectations and has been one of the biggest and most vibrant open house events in the East Sussex calendar.  Thousands of visitors have been to see hundreds of venues; meeting artists, seeing how and where they work, and buying art directly from them. The festival featured over 400 artists with over 120 different places to visit.

Venues and artists are thrilled by the significant increase in people, which has also been reflected in sales. Sussex Arts Collective who held a group show at the Hop Gallery in Lewes recorded almost 3000 visitors over the three weeks and Seaford Art Club, exhibiting work at the Crypt welcomed 1158 visitors during the one week they were open, selling 30 pieces of art.  Anne Benson, Secretary of SAC said:  “All results show an improvement on previous years”.

Artwave twitter followers have increased by 80% this year, to over 2000 and Instagram followers have also increased @artwavefestival  #artwave.
Tweets included, “So enjoyed Artwave Festival this year. Lewes is full of extraordinary talent!” “I have loved Artwave Festival this year, so much good work, so many nice visitors.”

Special recognition goes to two venues:  Driftwood Gardens in Seaford who had record visitors and sales and welcomed 1047 visitors, who helped them reach a fantastic total of £8,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support for the year; plus our own Artwave Team selling teas and surrealist inspired cakes to 150 plus visitors at their pop up Arts Café in Lewes House, raising £430 in just one day, in aid of Cancer Research. 

The Artwave Favourite Awards, sponsored by the Chair of Lewes District Council, Viva Lewes and Lewes District Business Awards.  At a special reception at Lewes House on Friday 9 September, the winners in the following two categories received their awards from Cllr Nigel Enever and Lizzie Lower from Viva Lewes:

Artwave Favourite Venue/Show 2016
Sussex Arts Collective mixed media show, celebrating the group’s 10th anniversary held at the Hop Gallery in Lewes, were winders of this Award.  Artist Phil Duncan was “stunned, amazed and delighted” to accept on behalf of the group’s “many talented artists and craftspeople.”

Artwave Favourite Artist 2016
Keith Pettit who exhibited and set up a workshop at 2 Fisher Street in Lewes as well as exhibiting at Artists and an Orchard, Ringmer was the clear winner for the second year running. Keith said “A huge thanks to Lewes District Council for continuing to support local artists through Artwave Festival, and also to all our visitors.  It has been an outstanding year for me, thank you.”

Congratulations to our winners and thank you to the hundreds of people who took time to vote for their favourites.

Artwave has provided a fantastic opportunity for thousands of people to get out and enjoy all that the District has to offer. It has also provided the perfect reason for visitors to come to Sussex from outside of the district, which has provided an additional boost for local tourism, through additional spend in our cafes, pubs and restaurants. Lewes District Council will be producing an impact study later this autumn to include more detailed information including facts, figures, case studies and sales.

Pictured above: Artwave winners and Artwave team (L-R); Lyn Enever, Cllr Nigel Enever, Lizzie Lower (Viva Lewes), Phil Duncan, Sussex Arts Collective (winner of favourite venue/show), Keith Pettit (winner of Favourite Artist), Jackie Blackwell (Lewes District Council), Charlotte Parsons, Artwave Co-ordinator, Carlotta Luke, Artwave designer.



Story published on 14 September 2016