Art Break in Scotland – 20 Things to do in East Neuk for Artists

Art Breaks in Scotland – East Neuk – the Perfect Getaway for Art Lovers

Whilst the East Neuk and surrounding areas have a reputation for amazing seafood and golf, there is also much more to the area.

Scotland has long had a strong arts heritage and culture, giving many peerless artists, poets and writers to the world. The almost Eden-like terrain, coupled with the tumultuous weather and history of Scotland has given rise to great artists in a number of disciplines.

If you want to explore this rich cultural heritage then the East Neuk and surrounding areas are the perfect place.

Below, we will look at the best and most important destinations for artists visiting this glorious part of Scotland.painting of elie beach huts - Thea Muller Jensen painting

 Fisher Studio and Gallery

In operation since 2000, Fisher Gallery exhibits contemporary works of well-established and newly graduated artists.

Exhibiting almost exclusively Scottish works, Fisher Studio pulls together work about local scenes and those inspired by living and working in Scotland.

Many of the artists on display have established reputations and are widely collected. Aside from these, you can take in works from fresh new talents.

Pittenweem Arts Festivalpittenweem-arts-festival

Running for a full week, Pittenweem Arts Festival shows works from artists at all levels and stages in their careers. From well-established artists to local artisans, the Pittenweem Festival throws open the doors to the rich arts scene of the area.

Offering an array of exhibitions, performances, workshops and more, there is something for everyone at the festival – with events for the kids too!

East Neuk Open StudiosEast Neuk Open Studios logo

An ‘Art Trail’, East Neuk Open Studios aims to provide a rich, full programme of over 35 artist and designer studios to explore and appreciate in the East Neuk.

Running in the summer (31st May – 1st June) and autumn (October 11-12th and 18 -19th) the red balloon trail leads visitors to a wide array of artist’s workshops. Painting, textile, jewellery, illustrations, ceramics and photographs are just some of the works on display, with more waiting around every corner.

East Neuk FestivalEast Neuk Festival 2015 logo

Running from June 27th to July 7th, East Neuk Festival brings together multiple art forms – music, literature and visual art, to create a varied and fun festival atmosphere.

Originally focused on music, the festival has an array of performances of all genres that will satisfy all comers.

Making use of the cosy local venues, the East Neuk Festival also plays host to writers performing readings, films and discussions.

Tickets are in high demand so act quickly!

Crail FestivalCrail Festival Logo

A wide-ranging affair, Crail Festival has a strong display of local artists, as well as live music, movies, dance workshops, artist talks and much else besides to keep the kids happy and entertained.

The best way to think of Crail Festival is a both a celebration of the arts and a celebration of the area, pulling in artists, performers and locals that exhibit the best the area has to offer – in terms of both art and character.

One thing is for sure – if you visit Crail Festival, you will never be short of things to do, no matter your age.

CamboliciousCambolicious logo

Whilst some might have a rigid definition of ‘art’, anyone who has eaten a fine meal or drunk craft beer knows that there is as much art in food and drink as in any painting.

Cambolicious is a fine example of gastronomic art. Dubbed ‘A celebration of craft beer…’ Cambolicious brings together the finest brews from around the East Neuk. What’s more, the best ciders and perrys (pear ciders), as well as local malts and gins are in full attendance.

Great food is also available, as is live music and entertainment for children.

Crail Food Festival LogoCrail Food Festival

In keeping with the theme of art you can consume, Crail Food Festival is another artisanal treat for the stomach.

Attracting over 9,000 visitors annually, Crail Food Festival displays the very best local food and drink with over 20 stalls in attendance.

With both a market and harbour component, you can feast on the best breads, chillis, chocolate, cakes, beers, spirits and seafood the area has to offer.

Fraser Gallery

Residing in the ground floor of a tradition St Andrews townhouse, Fraser Gallery is one of the best gallery spaces in the whole of Scotland.

Contemporary, but welcoming, the gallery houses a number of original works by important Scottish artists.

There are two major exhibitions each year, with smaller revolving exhibitions also ongoing.

artery gallery logoArtery Gallery

Another St Andrews destination, Artery offers a wide range of paintings, wall art, jewellery and ceramics.

With first class art on display and a friendly atmosphere, Artery is all about putting amazing pieces of art and crafts into your hands, at an affordable price.

With a constantly evolving and changing line up of amazing pieces, Artery is not to be missed.

Fife Contemporary Arts and CultureFife Contemporary Arts logo

Explosing local, Scottish and international artists, FCAC regularly exhibits and curates exhibitions covering the gamut of contemporary art forms.

Working with St Andrews and Kirkcaldy museums, FCAC is all about developing and supporting artists as well as exhibiting their work to the wider public.

If you enjoy modern, challenging works, then FCAC most likely has something for you.

North Fife Open StudiosOpen Studios North Fife Logo

Whatever your tastes – paintings, photography, ceramics, glass, textiles (with much more besides), North Fife Open Studios is the perfect way to view local artists are their wares.

North Fife Open Studios ranges across the region, allowing you a glimpse inside the studios of artists working in various disciplines, with the opportunity to take something home with you at the end.

Every growing, North Fife Open Studios is the perfect way to connect with the local arts and crafts scene.

Made in Fife

More a travelling collective than a brick-and-mortar institution, Made in Fife collects a vast array of art works, foods and crafts, bringing the very best to the festivals in the area.

Designed as a way to gain visibility for the large number of creative in the area, Made in Fife calls at festivals such as the Pittenweem Festival (Held annually in August) and sheds light on skilled and dedicated artists from the Fife area.

Art Room 59 LogoArt Room 59

Sporting a suitably Pop Art name, Art Room 59 gathers pieces from the whole of the UK as well as Scotland.

Focused on pieces for the home, Art Room 59 hosts an ever-evolving collection of quirky, contemporary pieces designed to bring a little bit of art into the home.

Paintings, ceramic pieces, lamps and other pieces all come with their own unique stamp and identity. Perfect for those looking to take a little bit of art home with them.

Kirkcaldy Film Festival

Just a short trip down the coast from Elie, the Kirkcaldy Film Festival is a bonanza of film showings, premiers, talks and workshops.

Focused on the art of the moving picture, the festival has a robust programme of films to suit every taste, whilst also having a calmer atmosphere than some of the bigger film festivals on the calendar.

Spread across a few different venues, Cannes or Sundance would be hard-pressed to create a nicer atmosphere than the one at Kirkcaldy Film Festival.

International Environmental Film Festival

Created back in 1982, the International Environmental Film Festival shows films that highlight a variety of issues facing the environment today.

Allowing entrants from many different backgrounds, the festival encourages student and school age filmmakers to submit their work alongside seasoned professionals, giving an insight into the views and work of youth today.

For anyone with an interest in the environment or film, this is the perfect festival.

Fife Jazz Festival LogoFife Jazz Festival

Long considered an art form due to its technical requirements and improvisational nature, the Fife Jazz Festival is the place to get your fill of Jazz.

Highlighting local, young and international jazz musicians, the festival aims to promote jazz in all its forms and foster a welcoming, warm atmosphere.

Whatever your taste, the Fife Jazz Festival is sure to put a swing in your step!

Fife Festival of Music

Although labelled a festival, Fife Festival of Music has various components that take place throughout the year which are sure to provide something for everyone.

Drawing from local talent – old and young alike, FFOM aims to create shows and workshops that provide great entertainment and insight into local musical talent.

Kirkcaldy Galleries logoKirkcaldy Galleries

Refurbished in 2013, Kirkcaldy Galleries sports an historic museum collection as well as an extensive, well-stocked gallery.

With nationally important pieces on display there is also the ‘People’s Pick’ exhibition, which gathers the best of local art.

A large café and shop also provides respite for tired feet!

Maisie and Mac LogoMasie and Mac

Sporting a wide collection of contemporary art and crafts, Masie and Mac is a great place to view pieces by local artists and to find a special memento to take away.

Whether you are looking for jewellery, artwork, prints, sculptures, textiles or ceramics, you are sure to find it here. With exhibitions through July and August, the always-friendly owners and staff are always happy to show visitors around.

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