Q1. What is Somerset Art Weeks Festival? How does it differ from the Open Studios Event?

Since its inception in 1994, Art Weeks has become an important event in Somerset’s calendar delighting art lovers from near and far. Due to the increasing popularity and growth of the event, the decision was made by our members in 2007 to make Art Weeks an annual two week event with an alternating focus i.e. Open Studios (2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014) and Exhibitions and Events (2009, 2011, 2013 and 2015).

The Art Weeks Events and Exhibition year has now been renamed ‘Somerset Art Weeks Festival’ as of 2013. This allows Somerset Art Works to develop two different events, thereby capturing the differing needs of the artistic community in Somerset. It supports the development of the artistic community as a fundamental part of the economic life of the county showcasing a broad-ranging programme of visual arts and craft. It features group shows, new commissions, projects and visual arts activities in more than 100 locations and settings across Somerset. It is a celebration of the creative abilities of artists as well as providing opportunities to organisations and individuals who are eager to expand their horizons and think “outside the box”.

Momentum sets the tone for Somerset Art Weeks Festival 2015. Alongside members’ exhibitions and events, SAW invites artists to create new work exploring aspects of the theme through contemporary visual arts and craft. We wish to feature new and exhilarating commissions, group shows, participatory activities and film screenings. The Festival encourages artist-led research on cultural meanings, taking as a starting point what social, physical and or economic mobility looks like in Somerset.

For more info and advice about the Momentum theme, please visit the Momentum project pagehttps://somersetartworks.org.uk/what-we-do/projects/current-projects/momentum/

Art Weeks Festival 2015 takes place from Saturday 3rd to Sunday 18th October, 2015.

Q2. Who can take part in Somerset Art Weeks Festival?

For Artists and makers

We welcome individual artists, makers, curators and groups working on collaborative projects and group shows that go beyond the ‘studio’ context. You are also welcome to invite artists from outside Somerset. (Please also see Q4) To take part, 50% of artists in the exhibition must be SAW individual members.

For galleries, venues and organisations

lf you are thinking about working with artists, developing a group exhibition, community project, or educational project, the Art Weeks Festival in 2015 will be the event for you. To take part, you need to be SAW organization/group member.

Please contact us if you wish to promote your business by advertising in our guide (distribution totalling 45,000). Deadline for advertising is 30th April 2015. Please contact us by emailing info@somersetartworks.org.uk or call 01458 253800.


A reduced rate is available for schools taking part. You need to be SAW organization/group member or an InspirED subscribing school. If you are interested in taking part, working with artists, showcasing work from staff and students or wish to plan an activity associated with this year’s event, please send your enquiry to Beccy Swaine inspired@somersetartworks.org.uk

Emerging Artists

If you are a SAW emerging artist member you are entitled to a reduced fee to take part. We also encourage you to take this opportunity to join other experienced artist members and find a mentor. In addition to this we provide a small number of bursaries for emerging artists to develop work. Further details will be posted in our Jan/Feb e-bulletin.

Q3: What are the venues and locations?

During previous Art Weeks, over 70 community venues, business premises or public spaces were used for visual arts exhibitions, events and performances all over Somerset. These venues have included village halls, skittle alleys, shop windows, public sites, public gardens, schools, community venues etc. The first new format of Art Weeks in 2009 featured 100 venues, whether it be four artists showing work on a joint ‘theme’ or an artist showing work created through workshops with participants/students. The new format of Art Weeks has proven successful in taking Visual Arts into new places and attracting new audiences.

Q4: What is the benefit of participation of artists from outside the county?

In response to examples of good practice from the wider membership, Art Weeks Festival aims to encourage SAW members to explore new ideas, collaboration with other artists, develop new skills, increase audiences and make useful links outside the county. Art Weeks 2015 is an opportunity for SAW and its members to:

– Network and make/show work with artists from elsewhere. This could lead to opportunities for Somerset artists to show their work further afield.

– Create new partnership opportunities in order to exchange ideas and skills and develop new audiences. This could include working with artist networks in other counties or placement exchanges between studio groups here and abroad.

– Create opportunities to attract new artist members – particularly recent graduates and artists coming to live in Somerset – as well as “groups” via the SAW Group Membership.

– Raise the profile of visual artists living in Somerset, thereby creating more opportunities for SAW members and increase audiences for their work.

– Celebrate making art with people of Somerset and beyond, young and old.

Q5. What should I do if I don’t have a suitable space or want to collaborate with another artist?

We appreciate many artists wish to take part but need to find a venue especially those who are emerging artists; those producing work at home and/or producing videos, installations and site-specific work.

Please let us know if:
a) You have extra space and would like to share with other artists
b) You are looking for space to exhibit.

Send us an email with some details about yourself and your practice, plus your geographic area and we will try to help you by using our matching service. Email: admin@somersetartworks.org.uk for more details.

Q6. How much will it cost to take part? What is included in my fee?

There is no increase in costs this year but we have simplified the structure as follows.  The amount you pay to take part is related to the size of listing you choose to have included in the Guide, rather than the number of participants in your venue:

Option 1: 1/4 page listing in the Guide £200

– Cost includes 1 image with 80 words
– No additional images are allowed with this option
– This option is suitable for schools and non-profit making organisations. You need to be SAW Organisation member, only the organisation’s name will be listed in the index.
– This option is also suitable for individual artists, particularly for those producing non-selling work.  You need to be SAW Individual Members and 50% of your group are SAW Individual Members.  Artists’ names will be listed in the index and on the entry, including those who are non-SAW Member.
– However, this option is not suitable for an exhibition/project which consists of more than 3 individual artists.

Option 2: 1/2 page listing in the Guide £450

– Cost includes 4 images with 80 words.
– No additional images are allowed with this option
– If you are SAW Organisation/group member, only the organisation/group/gallery name will be listed in the index.
– If 50% of your group are SAW Individual Members, artists names will be listed in the index and on the entry, including those who are non-SAW Member. Maximum 5 artists’ only.

Option 3: 3/4 page listing in the Guide £650

– Cost includes 6 images with 80 words
– Only 1 extra image can be purchased at an additional cost of £50
– If you are SAW Organisation/group member, only the organisation/group/gallery name will be listed in the index.
– If 50% of your group are SAW Individual Member, artists names will be listed in the index and on the entry, including those who are non-SAW Member. Maximum 7 artists only.

Option 4: Full page in the Guide £800
– Cost includes 8 images with 80 words
– Only 2 extra images can be purchased at an additional cost of £50 each
– If you are SAW Organisation/group member, only the organisation/group/gallery name will be listed in the index.
– If 50% of your group are SAW Individual Member, artists names will be listed in the index and on the entry, including those who are non-SAW Member. Maximum 10 artists only.

1. Each venue will be allocated a website entry, 6 road signs and 100 Guides.
2. There is a £50 fee reduction for emerging SAW artist members.
3. There are ten £100 fee-reduction bursaries for schools, artist–led community groups and non-profit organizations. Please contact SAW if you wish to apply.

Additional advertising options – Please contact us if you wish to promote your business by taking out advertising in our guide (distribution totalling 45,000).  Please contact us by emailing info@somersetartworks.org.uk or call 01458 253800.

Q7. How to register? What is the registration deadline? Where can I get the registration form?

This year, we have simplified the registration process with easy and fast registration online. You will no longer be required to download, complete and post a paper registration form to us. Please ensure you have all your registration details ready before registering as incomplete registrations will be rejected. Registration is now open, deadline 31st March 2015.

The online registration process is as follows:

– Login to www.somersetartworks.org.uk using your membership account password. (If you are not already a member you will need to sign up for membership, allowing two weeks for activation of your account, prior to registration)

– Choose the fee option carefully and enter the final amount. You will then be asked to make the payment either by cheque or bank transfer (BACS). You must send SAW the payment prior to the registration deadline. If you send your cheque to SAW via post, please ensure you obtain a receipt from the post office as proof of postage.

– Please submit all registration details online; including the uploading of images. You are responsible for providing correct details for publication in the printed guide. An additional fee will be payable if any changes are necessary following the registration process.

– Confirmation of your registration will be sent to you following the registration deadline. A PDF proof of your guide entry will be sent to you, via email, in June.

– Late registrations will not be accepted this year.

To register, please go to somersetartworks.org.uk/art-weeks-registration

Image requirement

Before submitting your image, please check the following to ensure your images are suitable to be published within the Guide. This will help to provide the best possible images for your entry.

1. Ensure that your images are professionally photographed or scanned.
2. It is vital that your images are SHARP, BOLD and CLEAR.
3. The resolution of your images must be no less than 300 dpi or 1000 x 1000 pixels.
4. We only accept JPEG format images. Please save your images in JPEG format.
5. Stitched several images in one will not be accepted because this will affect the quality and clarity of your entry.

Q8. How are the Registration Fees spent?

All of your registration fee will be used to deliver the event. Costs incurred by SAW are as follows:

Staffing: 50 days of coordinator time and 100 days of administration and marketing support through the year including: event planning, registration, Guide co-ordination, event delivery and evaluation.

Marketing: Advertising and design, professional fees re PR/marketing consultant, printing and design costs of 45,000 copies of guide and other marketing materials, such as flyers and posters.

Expenses: Coordinator, administrator, Area Reps and volunteer expenses
Launch Event: Invitations and refreshments

Documentation and Evaluation: Professional fee for photographer and evaluator

Administration: Stationary, postage, accounting

Registration fees are insufficient to cover all the above costs and as a result each year we strive to raise 10% extra income from advertising, sponsorship and public funders.

Q9. How does SAW promote Somerset Art Weeks Festival 2015?

During the summer 2015, 45,000 copies of the guide will be available for professional distribution via key venues throughout the county; along with several thousand posters plus other promotional material.

SAW will organise a high profile press and advertising campaign from January 2015 onwards, targeting newspapers, magazines, television and radio in order to promote the event as widely as possible.

SAW will lead a strong social media marketing campaign around the event to encourage people to visit. Social media is very active amongst the arts and tourism industry in Somerset and SAW has a very active Facebook and Twitter page with a large audience. Participants will also receive support from our in-house Marketing Assistant to help promote your venue for private views etc. via these social media portals.

Q10. What do I need to do before, during and after the event?

To ensure the success of your Event you must

– Publicise your venue wherever possible and use the SAW logo in your publicity materials.

– Use the online ‘Resources for Participants’ on our website to assist with marketing your venue; how to take images, etc.

– Monitor all communications with SAW.

– Work closely with your SAW Area Representative in their marketing initiatives, to publicise the event and to help distribute promotional material such as cluster flyers, posters etc.

Q11. What are Area Representatives? What will he/she do for me?

You will be assigned a volunteer area representative, who supports SAW to organise guide distribution and networking in your area. He/she will contact you and let you know if there are any meetings or marketing initiatives planned which, with everyone’s support, help to highlight the exhibitions in the area and help make Art Weeks an even greater success. This is also a good opportunity to network with local artists.

Your area representative will also give you details of where and when the publicity materials will be available for collection in July. These may include guides, posters, flags, balloons, stickers and banners.

SAW’s area representatives work on a voluntary basis and may not be the right person to speak to regarding the administration of the event (i.e. PLI, risk assessment etc) please therefore contact the SAW office regarding any urgent matters.