About PAW

PAW offers year round arts activities and provides a support network for its artists across Purbeck. We hold our annual visual and performing PAW Festival once a year in late May/early June.

 “The Purbeck Art Weeks (PAW) Festival celebrates Art in all its various forms. It seeks to inspire and support artists to achieve their potential, attract a variety of world class musicians and performers, involve people from across the community and encourage everyone to enjoy a wide range of arts.”

PAW Festival

  • There is always something for everyone at our popular annual two-week Festival in late May/early June.
  • We celebrate and support visual artists working in Purbeck many of whom warmly open their studios to the public during the Festival.
  • Open Studios offer an opportunity to see individual artist’s work and talk to them about their ideas and techniques in their own workspace.  If you’re interested in exhibiting please look at PAW Membership
  • Our collective exhibition is at Rollington Barn, near Corfe Castle. All of our participating artists are represented here, including those who do not have open studios of their own.
  • A wide range of events by performing artists and talks by local experts are not to be missed at interesting and unusual venues throughout Purbeck.
  • PAW attracts and brings to Purbeck performers of international excellence such as I Fagiolini and the Gabrieli Consort.
  • We also hold professional workshops and provide performance opportunities that support local artists and musicians to explore and develop their talents.
  • Ticket prices for events are kept attractive thanks to the generous support of Trusts, Foundations and Festival Friends. (See PAW Friends).


Young People and PAW

  • PAW supports young people by running exciting workshops in local schools, as part of our Purbeck Young Artists Scheme.  These are led by experienced art educators and supported by a range of valued local funders.
  • During the Festival the imaginative work created by some of the 500 young people who have participated in our schools art competition, is on display at Rollington Barn and other venues.


Chamber Music in Purbeck Homes

  • Our series of Chamber Music in Purbeck Homes, such as Smedmore House and Creech Grange, is part of our winter programme. By becoming a Friend you are entitled to priority booking for these very special evenings.


Community Art Projects

  • Working in the community brings people together.  Swanage, seafront boasts a Tree of Life, a smiling dinosaur, and swirling fish created by people from across the Purbeck community. Next we will enliven the rear of Wareham Library as part of their garden refurbishment project.
  • Older people and those with special needs can get involved in being creative too, and a special Colourful Partnership event during the Festival celebrates their achievements.


Art Workshops by PAW members

  • A variety of workshops for all, run by PAW artists, take place throughout the year. These are informative, explorative and practical, as well as loads of fun!


PAW Partnerships

  • Our partnership with RSPB Arne is now in its second year and has proved a beneficial and exciting collaboration – with a PAW Sketching Tent in a beautiful location in the reserve during the Festival, and regular exhibitions throughout the year in the RSPB’s new café.
  • PAW is excited to be working with the Etches Collection in Kimmeridge with sketching days, a menu of workshops for adults and children during the year, and a new artist-in-residence scheme.


Visual Arts Forum

  • The Visual Arts Forum (VAF) helps artists to network and exchange ideas.



  • If you want to develop a career in visual and performing arts, PAW could be your launch pad.
  • PAW Bursaries are awarded to those with exceptional talent who want to take the next step. (See PAW Bursaries)


Become a friend and you can help fund our work as well as enjoy priority bookings and regular updates of events. (See PAW Friends)