Bournemouth in Dorset is a thriving center for the arts all year round, but in autumn the coastal town truly comes alive with a whole host of festivals and events that celebrate all elements of the arts.
Bournemouth Arts by the Sea Festival 2013
Autumn is the season for the Bournemouth Arts by the Sea Festival, a multi-venue homage to every imaginable form of artistic expression. This year’s festival will be held from 20 September to 12 October, with exhibitions and performances held at various locations in and around the town. This annual festival features indoor and outdoor events, with a myriad of multidisciplinary and cross-disciplinary art forms; classic and contemporary dance, visual arts and effects, music, cinema, performing arts and everything in between.
Visitors are also encouraged to participate in interactive exhibitions, workshops, and classes. The opening weekend promises to be an unforgettable experience, with bizarre and awe-inspiring sets, machinery, sound effects, and animatronics, presented by The Mutoid Waste Company, larger-than-life oscillating sculptures, producing mesmerizing harmonies, designed by artist and composer Ray Lee, and the dazzling visual effects of the “Light Houses” collection, created by Michael Grubbs.
SHARDS Art Exhibition
The Bournemouth International Center (BIC) and Pavilion Theatre and Ballroom offer a variety of classical and avant-guard visual and performing arts and entertainment. These venues have a year-round schedule of visual art exhibitions, musical concerts, stand-up comedy, plays, operas, ballets, and modern dance performances. The Pavilion Theatre and Ballroom presents the SHARDS Art Exhibition, which features works from talented local artists and runs until 2 September. The Pavilion Theatre presents the 2013 Summer/Autumn Organ Concert Series, which features one hour concert performances, every Thursday until 31 October. The Bournemouth International Center is close to both the town center and just 5 minutes from the seafront with a great selection of Bournemouth hotel accommodation close at hand for all budgets.
A more intimate venue, Pavilion Dance South West, is also located near Bournemouth town centre. This small dance studio and theatre offers art house film night, every Monday, from 2:30pm to 7:45pm. Pavilion Dance will also feature professional dance and dance-theatre performances, every Thursday from 10 October until 5 December. Affordable dance classes and workshops are held every week, offering classical, modern, and street dancing, for both novices and professionals, and children to adults. Pavilion Dance is hosting many exciting upcoming autumn events, which include the Open Mic UK Singing Competition, held on 15 September and the Silent Disco by Silent Arena, on 21 September.
Vintage Fair at Russell-Cotes
The Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum, at East Cliff Hall, houses an amazing compilation of Victorian artifacts, souvenirs, and fine artworks from around the world at their annual Vintage Fair. This vast private collection was acquired by Sir Merton and Lady Russell-Cotes, who began building East Cliff Hall, in 1897. Beautiful and fascinating treasures from their travels to Egypt, Japan, India, the Pacific Islands, Australia, and the Americas fill the rooms of this historic Victorian villa.
Four formal galleries house almost one thousand oil paintings and include the works of such masters as Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Etty, and Edwin Longsden Long. The museum offers guided tours which provide a detailed history of East Cliff Hall, the galleries and the exotic curios displayed. Public guided tours include the “Story of the Victorian Villa” which is held every Wednesday and Thursday at both 11am and 2pm and also on Sundays at 11am. The intriguing “Story of the Paintings” runs on Saturday mornings at 11am and the interesting tour entitled “Behind the Scenes with the Curator” offers a rare chance to meet and talk with the curator of this fabulous collection, every 10th day of the month at both 11am and 20m.