Portishead plays host to new arts festival 

Jeff Lucas and Nicola Holland, organisers of Portishead Arts Festival.

Jeff Lucas and Nicola Holland, organisers of Portishead Arts Festival. - Credit: Jeff Lucas

A new festival celebrating Portishead's art scene will make its debut in the town next month.

The event, which is in the final planning stages, will take place on September 25-26 and will span across more than eight venues.  

Organisers are now inviting local artists to take part in the regular addition to the cultural scene in Portishead.  

There is not a ripple in the water at Portishead Marina. Picture: Richard Hayball

There is not a ripple in the water at Portishead Marina. Picture: Richard Hayball - Credit: Richard Hayball

Portishead Arts Festival is set to cover a wide range of interests to suit all tastes and ages. As well as visual art exhibitions, the event will include the performing arts of music, dance and theatre. 

Talks, classes and demonstrations, a photography competition and exhibition, as well as a guided tour of Portishead Art Trail and Portbury Wharf Nature Reserve will take place across the weekend. A highlight of the event includes modelling workshops run by Aardman Animations, the creators of the comedy animation series Wallace and Gromit. 

Cllr Nicola Holland, who is keen to explain she is not organising the festival in her role as councillor, formed the idea. She said: “Portishead has so much talent and there is so much beauty here.  

Jeff and Nicola, organisers of Portishead Arts Festival.

Jeff and Nicola, organisers of Portishead Arts Festival. - Credit: Jeff Lucas

“I have felt for a long time a town-wide arts festival was long overdue, so I began to put feelers out before the pandemic arrived. I got a very positive response and so as restrictions began to lift, I started to put a plan together.  

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“I am now feeling really excited about this and hope it will become an annual event that will grow year on year.” 

Nicola is being supported by Portishead artist Jeff Lucas and a small team of volunteers to organise the event in Portishead next month.  

Somerset Hall, in The Precinct, will become the focal point for the weekend, housing both the main visual art exhibition and a photography exhibition, as well as some of the talks. 

Somerset Hall and Precinct, Portishead. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Somerset Hall and Precinct, Portishead. Picture: MARK ATHERTON - Credit: Archant

Jeff said: “The exhibition at Somerset Hall comprises 15 local artists showcasing high-quality work to suit all tastes and pockets. The show will include painting, drawing, pottery, industrial-modern furniture, graphic art, textile art, felting and silver jewellery." 

A second visual art exhibition will take place on September 25 at the Folk Hall, in Portishead High Street, for which artists interested in exhibiting at the event are invited to apply. Email info@portisheadartsfestival.co.uk for further details and a booking form. 

Portishead Folk Hall in High Street.

Portishead Folk Hall in High Street. - Credit: Archant

Details of the weekend’s events are being added to the festival website as they are finalised and an official festival programme is in the making. 

Portishead Arts Festival has also launched a photography competition, open to all amateur photographers in the BS20 area. Entries can be made by submitting photos in one or more of three themes, Coastline, Away From The Crowd and Local Life.

For more information and to enter the photography competition, log-on to www.portisheadartsfestival.co.uk  

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