Stunning and diverse artwork from around 800 artists and makers across Lewes district will go on display with the launch of Artwave this weekend.
The festival, now in its 28th year, kicks off on Saturday (September 11) and runs over three weekends until Sunday, September 26.
Organised by Lewes District Council, Artwave features free exhibitions at 147 venues, giving art lovers the opportunity to meet artists and makers, and buy directly from them.
Visitors can follow trails around Seaford, Newhaven, Lewes or trace a route through rural district villages.
The Seaford Trail boasts an enthralling exhibition entitled Celebrate Cuckmere Haven featuring more than 70 artists, bringing together the best of art inspired by views of, from or around iconic Cuckmere Haven.
Held at the South Hill Barn in Seaford, a programme of events surrounds this exhibition with all profits raised going directly to the charity Cuckmere Haven SOS.
Celebrate Cuckmere Haven organiser Jo Myles said: “For a tiny bay on the Sussex coastline, Cuckmere Haven enjoys somewhat of a global superstar status, having been used for numerous major motion films, TV shows and commercials.
“Every year, hundreds of thousands of people from across the globe visit Cuckmere Haven to see for themselves the white cliffs and picturesque coastguard cottages they recognise from TV and cinema screens.
“At a time when representational and figurative painting is enjoying a welcome return to popularity and as society re-emerges into the light, the Celebrate Cuckmere Haven exhibition will lift the spirits and give Artwave visitors an opportunity to appreciate and buy new works in a wide range of mediums.”
Meanwhile, on the Rural Trail in Glynde there are six exhibitions open to the public including the rare opportunity to see contemporary art at Glynde Place, with artist Isobel Smith breathing new life into this historic home (open on 18, 19, 25 and 26 September).
Another historic building rarely open to the public is Hamsey Church, which is the exhibition space for artist Keith Pettit, who will be showing new wood engraved prints, sculptures and paintings.
The heritage artist’s village of Ditchling has an exciting programme this year with four artists’ studios opening and shops on the High Street. Close by there are three new venues opening in Streat: Atelium showing art in their new vineyard, open studios of Jinks McGrath and Steve Turner and the Skelton workshops.
For full details including a list of all venues and opening times please visit artwavefestival.org
All exhibitions are free.
Printed maps are also available from Lewes and Seaford Tourist Information Centres.