ART fans left feeling blue by the cancellation of this year's Dorset Art Weeks can still get their hands on a masterpiece at a special online auction.

The much-anticipated biennial event would have seen hundreds of artists across the county welcome the public into their studios between May 23 and June 7, in what would have been its 14th year.

Organisers say it is the UK's largest free art festival, contributing a very welcome £2 million to the Dorset economy.

Understandably, this year's event had to be called off - however an online auction may go some way to satiating art lover's thirst for original works, as over 80 artists will present and sell their works between July 7 -19.

The auction will feature over 200 items, including paintings, prints, photographs, drawings, sculpture, ceramics, glass, textiles, jewellery, mixed media, furniture and stoneware.

It is a partnership between Dorset Visual Arts and The Auction Hub - the latter of which has online 'Auctionet' technology to power the virtual event.

The Auction Hub was founded in 2019 by James Harvey, who hit upon the idea of an online auction to take the place of the festival and provide a sales platform for artists.

Mr Harvey said: "Dorset Art Weeks is a key, high profile event in the summer calendar, with artists preparing up to two years in advance.

"We are delighted to present this online auction, showcasing the incredible talent from the county, to local, national and international audiences. The sheer range of items on offer will attract and delight many bidders and buyers during these exceptional time."

Many works in the auction take their inspiration from the countryside and coastlines to be found across the vast expanses of Dorset. Whereas other artists bring their experience of working and living outside the county and the UK to their works created in Dorset.

Kate Madden, Dorset Art Weeks event producer, said: "I find it overwhelming that in spite of being so affected by the cancellation of teaching, courses and exhibitions – and with just a few days’ notice – our artists have responded so enthusiastically to be part of this auction devised by The Auction Hub. It demonstrates a strong and deep connection to this well-loved biennial event."

Bidding will open on July 7 at

The next Dorset Art Weeks event is planned for 2021.


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