Somerset Art Works is a registered charity and membership organisation. Somerset's only countywide agency dedicated to developing the visual arts.
We want Somerset to be a place where people expect to engage with excellent visual art that is surprising and distinctive. To create an atmosphere of adventure and experimentation that inspires artists to produce and present new work and for audiences to experience it firsthand.
We initiate a wide range of projects in a variety of settings, working in partnership with other arts and non-arts organisations, supporting the artists who enrich our lives and always integrating artists’ professional development. We work to increase public engagement, weaving together communities and raising the profile of the vibrant contemporary visual, digital and applied arts scene in Somerset.
In 1994 a group of Somerset artists initiated an open studio festival as a way of making contact with other artists in the county and promoting their work directly to the public. It was such a success that there has been a regular Somerset Art Weeks festival ever since. In 2000 SAW Ltd was set up to provide a permanent organisational structure and in 2007 the decision was made by SAW members to turn the festival into an annual two-weekly event with an alternating focus of Open Studios and Exhibitions and Events Festival year.
In 2016 Somerset Art Works became a registered charity which aims
‘To advance education for the public benefit in Somerset in the fields of visual arts including collaborations with other art forms’