Local Arts Festival & Open Studios

Celebrating talented local artists, performers and craftspeople throughout September.

Every September we are treated to exhibitions and open doors by so many local artists, whether it be an Art Festival, Exhibition or Open Studios.  Since the inception of Somerset Art Weeks in 1994, they have become important events in Somerset’s cultural calendar, delighting art lovers near and far.  Always a way to celebrate a feast of arts and crafts within the 10 Parishes and further afield.

Between 11th - 19th September runs The 10 Parishes Festival of Visual and Performing Artsand then from 18th September - 3rd October is Somerset Open Studios.


The 10 parishes of 10parishesfestivalThe Cottage Beyond, as we all know is in Kittisford, but when it comes to Parishes, we are in the Parish of Stawley.  So the 10 Parishes Festival  is our local patch and several of the exhibitors are within walking distance, so we really hope as many visitors as possible will take the opportunity to enjoy all that is local and support these wonderful artists.

The 10 Parishes Festival is now firmly established as a major West Somerset celebration in Wiveliscombe and the nine surrounding parishes.  Started in September 2003, it is now a highly successful biennial event, supported by the large number of artists, craftspeople and performers who have chosen to live and work in the area, giving it a unique character and a widely acknowledged creative identity.

A few paintings of Tilly Willis' fabulous portfolio

The Festival grew out of the Wiveliscombe Area Market Town Initiative, which focuses on developing local culture and creativity, employment, rural tourism and a sustainable, proactive approach to the local environment and community life.

Visit exhibitions, take part yourself! The 10 Parishes Festival runs every second year to offer you the visitor a rich variety of art throughout the 10 Parishes area (Wiveliscombe and its surrounding parishes).  All these blog photos were taken at various venues of the festival and show a snapshot of what is to be enjoyed.

Wivey Bags, beautifully made and so useful

Overlapping The 10 Parishes Festival by a day is Somerset Open Studios.  Somerset Open Studios and Festival Events are annual countywide celebrations of the variety and quality of contemporary visual art and craft that can be found in Somerset.

Live music in Bathealton Village Hall accompanying the exhibition

This is one of the largest Open Studios events to date, Somerset Open Studios 2021 presents work from more than 300 Somerset Art Works Members in over 200 studios and spaces across the county this autumn.  Visitors have the opportunity to go behind the scenes and experience the working process, meet the artist and find out what inspires them - engaging with creativity at the source. Studios occur in a variety of unique situations and the event is the perfect opportunity to discover hidden locations and workspaces.  For those interested they have created an Open Studios 21 App which can be found on the website or search "Somerset Open Studios' to download from Google Play or the App store.  

Original knits

We loved visiting several venues this morning, seeing recent works by artists we are know and love and discovered other great local talents.  We were in discussion with several about potential commissioned pieces for TCB - so watch this space!