Cheltenham Art


Art in the Park 2021


The Art in the Park committee are close to agreeing the provision of art stands and weather proof enclosures for an on-going Art in the Park exhibition within the new Plaza in Imperial Gardens.

Due to the uncertainty of how quickly we will be able to put on an exhibition this year, the committee have decided to run Art in the Park later in the year rather than the usual June/July. Because the 2021 exhibition  will be later in the year, we will propose a closing time just before sunset, rather than our standard 7.30 pm. (To be advised)

Note for artists:  When the plaza is open to the public and the final touches are completed, we will meet to examine the supplied stands and enclosures and if we are satisfied with the provision we will write to you again probably around the end of May with application forms and to ask you for your payment.  Stand hire payments and our commission from sales will be used to cover our set up costs and exhibition expenses as per usual and by the time that we write to you again, we will know what the hire charge will be.

Our plan:

  • Week 1 will run for 8 days starting Sunday 18th September and ending Saturday 25th September.

  • Week 2 will run for 7 days starting Sunday 26th September and ending Saturday 2nd October

  • Week 3 will run for 8 days starting Sunday 3rd October and ending Sunday 10th October.

Please contact Jo Hurlston by email if you would like to exhibit with us in 2021.


About the Exhibition

The Cotswolds town of Cheltenham Spa is well known for its annual Festival, which incorporates Literature, Music and the Arts, as well as an acclaimed Science Festival.  The Art in the Park Exhibition is an additional attraction in the town during the festival and has been running each year since 1969.  It showcases the art of over 100 locals painters over a 4 week period, and is organised by an Exhibition Committee of eleven artists.  The Committee is voluntary and exists only to organise Art in the Park (which was previously known as 'Cheltenham Open Air Art Exhibition', until about 2011).

The Exhibition is open to all local artists and is not based upon the individual merit of the artwork: Application forms are sent out in mid-March to artists who have exhibited recently or who expressed an interest in participating.  The available screens are then allocated to applicants on a first come, first served basis.  The work exhibited covers a spectrum of talent, incorporating professional artists and relative beginners alike. This format is very popular with the artists themselves, and the event is always over-subscribed.

'Imperial Gardens' featured on 'Cotswold Life' coverThe event is also very popular with the people of Cheltenham.  It provides a colourful annual pageant of original artwork, and offers the potential for real bargains: the commission charged by the event is small  compared with that charged by Galleries (who have far higher overheads), and this is reflected in the prices of the artwork on offer. 

Typically you can expect to pay half the price you would be charged in a gallery!

Saying that, staging this event is becoming an increasingly expensive activity. The cost of the mandatory public liability insurance has followed the general trend in insurance premiums over the last few years; rapid escalation.  The scaffolding is also expensive.  The event is funded by fees paid by the artists themselves, and the levies taken from the sale of their paintings, which are currently 10%. 

In effect, the Exhibition is reliant upon the commercial success of its exhibiting artists to maintain itself each year. 

The economics of the event is thus market-led and driven by the art-lovers of Cheltenham and its environs.  We owe them a debt of thanks for their support down the years, and hope to continue to offer them excellent quality and value for years to come.


The 50th annual 'Art in the Park' in Cheltenham
took place in 2019, and was celebrated by our artists, past and present, visitors and dignitaries.  We opened on Saturday 22nd June 2019 with a fabulous ceremony, featuring renowned artist Dr P.J. Crook giving the keynote address.  Here are a couple of photographs from the 'Art in the Park' 50th celebration party, taken by photographer Paul Bentley, featuring our organising committee and honoured guests.  What a fabulous day!  Thank you to everyone who contributed to the celebration!



We now have a Facebook page, to keep up with the latest news, paintings and features:


Our thanks go to our sponsors, Midwinters Solicitors, for their continuing support. 

Thanks also to Radio Gloucestershire and The Gloucestershire Echo for regularly mentioning us on air and on-line. 

Here's a selection of the many local media web-pages where we're listed, with many thanks to all concerned:,%20News_zone.htm



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