Art is an integral part of most cultures, it is a visual representation of things that cannot be manifested in speech – and it is by far one of the most efficient means of expressing thoughts, processes, and sentiments to people. There is a plethora of art festivals that take place at different times of the year in various spaces and places where artists, performers, curators, and enthusiasts come together to celebrate the best in the art world.
We, at Festival Sherpa love all things colourful, spectacular, fancy, and artsy, here is our list of the art festivals that you must know about, go to, and enjoy:
1. The World Bodypainting Festival
The WBF is nothing short of fantastic, every year – for a week in Austria, thousands of people witness the creation of ‘living, breathing, and multidimensional art. Bodypainting however, is not the only feature at the festival, throughout the weeklong festival – there are numerous artists playing on stages across the venue, workshops, competitions, and other events taking place that showcase the best use of the human body as a canvas. Beginning in 1998, the festival is now on its 17th year – and promises to be an exciting mix of artistic experimentation, fashion innovation, and musical expression while maintaining, the obvious professional aspect through the “Global Professional Bodypainting Conference” – to share, collaborate, and discuss, as well as showcase the pieces that have been created at the festival.
Take a look at The Sherp’s thoughts – on The World Bodypainting Festival, and then maybe these pictures below!
2. The Venice Biennale
Where: Venice, Italy
One of the biggest art festivals in the world is the Venice Biennale, featuring some of the best artistic talent of the century, along with the most revered artists of the current world. From 1895 onwards, the Venice Biennale has been the frontrunner for art curation and exhibition – showcasing works that are representative of the cultural conscience of the world, through a plethora of installation works, paintings, murals, and interactive artwork spanning various media.
At the Biennale, multiple venues across Venice house art created by artists from across the globe as well as locally, while thousands of art-lovers, critics, and enthusiasts make their way through the Biennale, the festival showcases a wide range of local, cultural events in an effort to promote a more inclusive mindset. Though there are other countries and cities that host Biennales with different chief curators and thematic senses – the Venice Biennale is one of the most magical experiences anyone could have, with the location being the picturesque Venice, and the artwork adding even more to the projected image of the space.
Find out more about the Venice Biennale on their webpage
3. BUKU Music + Art Project
Where: New Orleans, Louisana, USA
BUKU, pronounced beau-coup, or for any of us buh-cooh is a self proclaimed “boutique festival, sans the mainstream underground party vibes”. BUKU, at the Warehouse District in New Orleans, is an illustrative experience, of both music that is relevant and art that is based on what you as a festival goer prefer! This project, though on the smaller side of the scale, showcases musical, artistic, and cultural trends of the world through a wide range of events like pop-up performances, stage performances, exhibitions, and a whole lot more. One of the most intriguing things about BUKU however, is the fact that the art – at the festival, is created right in front of you. Artists come into the festival to produce their art, which could be anything from kinetic art, to canvas paints, to graffiti – all while the music stages keep everyone’s ears occupied.
4. Art Basel
Where: Europe, North America, Asia
Art Basel is a festival that takes place across three continents, Europe, North America, and Asia to showcase the best and upcoming contemporary art in the world. With high regard to quality, and a big big affinity towards art that tries to fit itself into the experimental category – Art Basel is something every art lover must possess on their to-do list. Art Basel Miami, being THE exhibition that everyone must visit; a nine-sector exhibition showcasing various kinds of media based artwork by both internationally acclaimed, and locally acquainted artists. Not only does the Art Basel Miami showcase art in 9 different sectors, there are series of talks, cultural events, and programmes lined up every festival week for goers to attend as they browse through the infinite artwork! Check some of it out below!
Where: Wiltshere, England
WOMAD, or the World of Music, Arts, and Dance is a festival where upcoming artists from the UK, along with previously unknown talent from around the world are featured at Charlton Park, in Wiltshire, England during the last week of every July. WOMAD is possibly the only festival that focuses on increasing local awareness on a global scale, and hence, artists from across the world, at WOMAD, hold sessions to tell people of the work they do, of the kind of music they create, and about the art they make. At WOMAD – there’s always something to do, for you, and for anyone else there too!
6. The New York Festival Of Light
Where: Brooklyn, NYC, USA
The NYFOL, it’s main attraction being the nighttime callings of all its patrons – is a free, three day festival of various light based installations and performances by artists from all around the world who get to showcase their work in numerous little localities in and around DUMBO, Brooklyn! The New York Festival Of Light assures no-darkness, and we think everyone should go head into the light! Here’s some of the installation art from the previous festivals for your amazement!
7. London Design Festival
Where: London, England
Colourful, artistic and extravagant, the London Design Festival is nothing short of amazing. The design capital of the world is all set to host this year’s edition of the Mecca of design festivals from September 19-27. There’s new talent, new installations, and more events than ever before.
One of the biggest and best design events anywhere in the world, the London Design Festival is ready to swing into action with over 350 events crammed into 9 days. With the very latest and path-breaking trends in product design, technology and architecture to fashion and interiors, this festival has been dubbed “a brilliant and buzzing gathering of international talent”.
(Images Courtesy: http://www.londondesignfestival.com/gallery)
8. Berlin Light Festival
Every October, Berlin is a city that quite literally lights up. The famous and historical sights of this beautiful city come alive as canvases for fantastic video and light projections. This Festival of Light goes on for 10 days where monuments like the Berlin Cathedral, radio tour and Brandenburg become illuminating works of art every night. The festival has drawn in millions of spectators and has commemorated Berlin’s historical monuments in the most colourful way possible.
9. Chale Wote Street Art Festival
Where: Jamestown, Ghana, Africa
The Chale Wote Street Art Festival, Jamestown, Ghana, is an annually held street art festival that celebrates and appreciates the work of local and international artists who aim to colour the streets with the ethnicity of contemporary African art. These artists tell vibrant yet melancholic stories with their depictions and some of these are so brilliant, we absolutely had to share them. Chale Wote has been a great platform for music, art and other live performers for several years now. An imaginative cultural gathering of creative expressions centered around African art. It’s now considered the biggest West African festival, seeing over 10,000 attendees last year. This year’s theme, ‘African Electronics’ saw some incredibly bold and edgy artwork displays. Ghana, being one of the world’s biggest e-waste dump sites, is the best place to resource raw material from. The concept of using the waste to create something new adds to this festival another element of authenticity. Going perfectly with the festival’s electronic theme, many of the art pieces depict what electronics made of scrap would look like.
10. St + Art Festival
Where: Mumbai & Delhi, India
More than anything, St+art is about providing a platform for street artists from everywhere to come and participate and be a part of the Indian movement, by transforming dreary and lacklustre buildings and streets into vibrant spaces. So over a month you spot lovely murals and installations that are bound to catch your eye all over the streets of Mumbai and Delhi. In addition to the street art, the festival hosts multiple other events related to art and art culture. From performances and film screenings to stencil making workshops, pop art exhibitions and street walks, the event is loaded with a lot of activities in the appreciation of art.
(‘Lucky Cat at Fishpond’, Pali Village / Bombay, By Tika Thek + Anpu and Image By St + Art Festival/Facebook)
(Words by Karan Kumar and Dhriti Menon)