Art in Action is one of the
UK’s longest running summer festivals dedicated to fine art and
master craftsmanship, located at Waterperry House in Oxfordshire, which is
owned by the School of
The event is organized and staffed by 600 unpaid volunteers from
the School of Economic
, which charges visitors for entry.
Artists and craftsmen set up their studios in one of many marquees,
and visitors watch them at work. This allows the public to question
and learn from the artists, as well as to buy and commission art.
The first Art in Action took place in 1977 with around 50 artists
and over the last 32 years it has grown significantly. It is now an
annual pilgrimage for 20-25,000 people interested in the visual
Each Art in Action marquee hosts artists of a similar discipline
such as Painting, Sculpture, Drawing and Printmaking, Calligraphy
and Illustration, Textiles, Woodwork, Metalwork and Jewellery,
Ceramics and Glass. Over the years there have also been sections
featuring arts from a wide variety of cultures and places,
including Islamic Arts, Russian Arts, Abrahamic Arts, Indian Arts
and Chinese Arts. New to 2009 is a Mexican Arts tent.
Visitors can also browse the Market where over 100 designer makers
sell a wide range of quality goods including leatherwork, toys,
ceramics, glass, jewellery, hats, body care and textiles.
Another characteristic feature of Art in Action is the large range
of practical classes available to visitors of all ages. These
include pot throwing, jewellery making, wood carving, medieval
manuscript restoration, marquety and parquetry. Classes for adults are
run by prestigious UK art colleges and institutions, including
College of Art, Chelsea College of Art, the Princes School of
Traditional Arts, the Glass
Engravers Guild and the Art Academy.
During the event there are music recitals, performing arts, and
storytelling for children. Visitors can also tour the world famous
Waterperry Gardens and take a guided tour of the exquisite frescoes
on the walls of Waterperry House that were completed in 2006 - a