Welcome to the website of West Bristol Arts. The trail is held on the Saturday and Sunday of the second or third weekend in October every year. On this site you can find everything you need to know, whether you wish to visit or exhibit. Navigate on all pages by using the back button on your browser or by clicking the links at the top.
The dates for the 2018 Trail are Saturday October 13th and Sunday October 14th, 11am to 5pm, with a public preview on Friday October 12th at the Avon Gorge Hotel. From 5.30pm to 7.30pm with official opening at approximately 6pm. Unfortunately the Lord Mayor cannot attend, and so the opening ceremony will be performed by the distinguished painter and photographer Derek Balmer PPRWA. The letters tell you that he was formerly President of the Royal West of England Academy (2001 – 2010). No need for an invitation. Just come along.
This is a completely free event. Approximately 100 local artists in 50 venues open their homes and studios to the general public so that you can browse their work. There are also some “public” venues such as hotels, schools or churches. The artists themselves are usually on hand if you wish to discuss their work or perhaps commission something special.
Prices are normally very modest by comparison with galleries, as there is no commission to be paid (often up to 50%). You buy direct from the artist. This really is affordable art. However, there is absolutely no pressure to buy work; you may simply spend a delightful weekend browsing some outstanding art.
We recommend using public transport or bicycle to visit the Trail, as car-parking facilities are notoriously scarce. Though parking?was an issue in Clifton and Hotwells, the new scheme has achieved its end of making more spaces available. There are no charges on Sunday, and many areas of the Trail have none on Saturday either. In all areas with charges, the first half-hour is free but you do have to register at the ticket stand.
Click here to see details of Parking and Public Transport
Click here for a list of Places to pick up a map/ brochure.
Click here for our live Google map of venues 2018
Click here for details of Wheelchair access
The trail is not selective and operates on the basis of first-come-first-served. All artists (in a wide range of media) are invited to participate, from full-time professionals to part-time amateurs. The entrance fee is £50 per artist (not per venue). There is a special rate for group shows such as church communities, where an individual artist may perhaps be showing only one or two works. There is no charge for schools and all are warmly invited to participate. However, all artists still need to register each year. Registration opens mid-January every year and closes when we are full or on March 31st, whichever is earlier.
Artists themselves choose their own venues (more often than not their own homes) and are responsible for all their own arrangements, including public liability insurance. We have a recommendation for the latter and it is easy and cheap (£36pa) to arrange by subscribing to the organisation called AIR. For details, click here.
Artists who exhibit on the Trail have their own free webpage on this site. This remains on the website indefinitely or until the artist asks for it to be removed. For further details click here
Any queries, just contact us at [email protected]