Edinburgh Art Festival is the UK’s largest annual festival of visual art and was founded in 2004 through an ambitious partnership of galleries committed to ensuring that high quality presentations of visual art remained at the core of Edinburgh’s summer festival experience. This partnership remains at the core of the festival, and is reflected in the rich programme of exhibitions developed for the festival each year by galleries across the city.
The festival works with local and international partners to present an ambitious and meaningful programme of exhibitions, events and projects. Since its beginnings, the festival has featured exhibitions from artists at a pivotal point in their career, alongside the best emerging talent, major survey exhibitions of historic figures and a programme of new commissions. The commissions support Scottish and international artists to make new and ambitious projects which engage with the extraordinary context of Edinburgh in August: presented principally in public spaces, these projects allow access to overlooked or neglected stories or spaces in the city’s heritage.
What makes it special?
- The vast majority of the festival is free to attend, and includes free events, exhibitions, performances, screenings, artist talks and guided tours.
- The festival includes over 40 exhibitions each year, showcasing some of the best contemporary art, fine art and abstract art alongside important artists and works from modern and historical periods.
- Each year Edinburgh Art Festival commissions new work by leading and emerging Scottish artists, with a particular emphasis on artists who are developing work for non-gallery contexts.
There’s real depth at this art festival, and even the sillier stuff is, after all, an excuse to explore one of Europe’s most remarkable cities.
Jonathan Jones, Art Critic