what's on

The Seal Trail

Our July 2021 event was hugely popular with 4000 visitors, and a message that came from the community loud and clear in the art they produced is their concern for the environment.  As a result, the theme for the 2022 Chepstow Festival of Arts is The River Wye. It is clear that all sections of our community are worried about what is happening to the Afon Gwy.

One of the many aspects of our beloved river that is at risk from pollution and climate change is our occasional salmon-stealing visitor “Sammy the Seal”.  This year we have been fortunate enough to secure funding to produce a series of Seal Sculptures. These fibreglass Sammys will be painted by the different schools in our area and by local artists. They will be used to create a trail for visitors to the town and to draw attention to the dangers facing our environment.

At the Festival, you will see all the seals exhibited in one place before they go to their new homes on the Seal Trail.

For information on sponsoring a seal please contact info@chepstowfestivalarts.co.uk. 

River on the Railings

We are planning an exciting community art installation for our 2022 festival, and we need your help.

We are looking for:

Clean fabric scraps, old T-shirts/leggings, any leftover wool or embroidery thread or unwanted blue/green curtains/fabric pieces.

To arrange collection, please contact:

Catherine Hawkridge

Watch our video for inspiration and instructions on how you or your group can contribute to the River on the Railings Art Installation. 

YouTube Video

Gazebo Art

Chepstow High Street

In 2022 there will be even more artists and photographers exhibiting their unique creations down the High Street. You will find works covering all genres represented and the artists will be on hand to talk about their work. We know that many of our visitors are also artists looking for inspiration, knowledge, and the chance to network. This community spirit is the heart of the Chepstow Festival of arts, and we hope you will all be able to join us once again to celebrate our local talent at this vibrant art festival.

Art Exhibition

Palmer Centre Cormells Square

Once again we are delighted that the three u3a art groups will be taking over the Palmer Centre to showcase their fabulous work. This year they will use the Queens Platinum Jubilee as their theme. Don’t expect to only see traditional ‘monarchy’ pictures, the u3a Art Groups  will definitely  surprise you with their lateral thinking!

Over thirty artists will contribute artwork using a variety of media, techniques and styles. These will include water colour, oil, acrylics, pastel, pen and ink, charcoal and graphite.

u3a will be joined by local amateur artists who have the opportunity to exhibit to the public.

If you are an amateur artist and would like to exhibit complete the booking form now!

To find out more about Chepstow u3a visit www.u3asites.org.uk/chepstow

Artisan Market

St Mary's priory

Once again our artisan craft market will offer a huge range of handmade items for sale, all unique and made with skill and love. It is also another chance to browse the work of our local artists, and pick up that special artwork.

The Artisan Market will be set in the beautiful St Mary’s Priory, which is worth a visit in itself.

This was a popular attraction last year, and with even more exciting opportunities to purchase gifts and to treat yourself it will again be a must visit destination at the Festival.

If you are a crafter or an artist and would like to sell your creations at the Festival complete the booking form now!

Flower festival

Katie Deacon from Deacon Florists in Chepstow and the Chepstow u3a Flower Arranging Group will again showcase the amazing works of art that can be created with flowers. This year they have the challenge of lighting up St Mary’s Priory with their talent.


Flower festival

Youth creativity

Priory Green and Cavil hall

This year 2022, we can be found in Priory Green and Cavill Hall. Once again we will have artwork exhibited by our talented youth and in  addition there will be a selection of Creative Activities for you to try and a stage for our youth to perform.

Why not get down with the kids? If it’s excitement you want then head for Priory Green and enjoy our excellent program of events from local youth groups such as Dance Academy 1,  Caroline Graham School of Dance, Drama Queens and many more who will be there to put on a show. So are our young artists whose work will be exhibited in Cavill Hall. Check out the talent from both individuals and local schools who are keen to join in our special day by sharing their artistic talent. 

For more information about this event or if you would like to participate next year please contact 


Youth Creativity Activities

Aardman Model Making Workshop

The Chepstow Club

The excellent folk at Aardman return to Chepstow again this year to teach kids how to make a Gromit, Shaun the Sheep or Morph model.

Taught by one of the actual model makers from the internationally renowned animation company, these workshops are open to anyone 6+ and will undoubtedly fill up fast! Materials are provided; just bring your sense of fun. The sessions can require some deft assembly, so we recommend younger children are supervised.

We have three timeslots available, so please ensure you are booking the one you want (10.30, 12.30, 2.30). This year the workshop will be held in the Chepstow Club (Formerly the Conservative Club) on Moor St.

See more at https://www.aardman.com/workshops/


Duncan Beedi

Priory Green

10.30-11.15   12.00-12.45   2.00-3.15

If your family want to get active yourselves, then on Priory Green there will be a variety of creative activities just waiting for you to try. These will include origami, drawing, colouring, mosaic work or, perhaps, you can enjoy our resident children’s author’s reading and illustration activity. 

There will be readings and a chance to try illustrations at 10-30,  12-00,  and 2-30.  

With Duncan Beedie reading extracts from: 

The Bear Who Stared,  The Lumberjacks’ Beard, The Last Chip, Molly’s Moon Mission, Oof Makes an Ouch, and No Sleep For Bear

He will also be reading from his new book with book signing opportunities. Books provided by Chepstow Book Shop.


For more information  please contact  pam.harrison@chepstowfestivalarts.co.uk  Beedie


Trevor Valentine

Priory Green


Trevor Valentine, guitarist, singer-songwriter, now becoming a regular and featured artiste in a growing number of folk clubs and open mics in and around the South
Gloucestershire and the Forest of Dean areas, either solo or as part of the duo
‘Double Measure’ with prolific songwriter Sue Skinner.
With a daughter in Nashville, this gives a natural focus and inspiration to his more
recent songwriting and performances of ‘Fireflies’ and ‘Knoxville In My Mirror’ at
sought after open mic sessions in the Music City.
Recently inspired to write a poignant song capturing a lament to the current war
atrocities, ‘Lullaby For Ukraine – The Last Soldier’ which envisages a time after a
holocaust when there are only two people left alive – a weary Russian soldier, and a
Ukrainian woman who takes him in and asks him, ‘what has he done…’


Creative workshops

Arnold Lowrey

the drill hall

Arnold has been painting for over 40 years. He paints in watercolour, oils, pastels and acrylics and over the last 25 years he has tutored thousands of painting sessions. He regularly demonstrates for Art Societies and runs workshops in all media. He has taught in Workshops in UK, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, America and the cruise ships

For Chepstow Festival Arnold will be doing a demonstration that anyone is welcome to watch followed by a ticketed workshop for those wishing to improve their watercolour skills. Any skill level is welcome. Participants will be expected to provide their own paints, easel and materials.


Sophie Sherwood

The drill Hall

Sophie Sherwood is a visual artist and creative workshop facilitator based in the South West of England. Her work is concerned with illustrating nostalgia, memory, relationships with others and the self and nature.

Chemigram printing involves using light sensitive paper with resists such as vaseline to experiment with printmaking techniques. Learn how to make your own darkroom chemistry at home so you can experiment using these with the resists. In this workshop you will use a selection of items and different resists to build layers and so create otherworldly effects on the light sensitive paper.

Sophie’s workshop is aimed at adults but is suitable for both adults and children over 8 years old. Any children must be accompanied by an adult. We have three workshops throughout the day (10.30, 12.30, 2.30) please ensure you are booking the slot you are after.


Creativity for All

The Boatman, High street

Have you ever wanted to have a go at drawing, revive your talent or join a life class to draw the human figure?   Not sure what to do or where to start? Now is your chance to see what you can do.

Chepstow Festival of Arts will set out easels and drawing materials around the Boatman in Chepstow High Street. Paper and charcoal will be provided, and expert tuition is at hand should you need it.

It’s free to have a go, have some fun and make a masterpiece.


Photography exhibition

Board School

Photography groups in the area will once again exhibit their fabulous talents with a stunning eclectic collection of photographs.

Their extensive displays will showcase a wide range of photographic techniques and image topics. Each group will have representatives present to chat about how their group run their sessions.

The spectacular Mencap Board School will undoubtedly add to the experience.

We would also welcome individual photographers who would like to exhibit. Just complete the booking form.



Throughout the day you will find performance art of every genre in five areas around the town.

In Cormeilles SQ, in Beaufort Sq, in Pye Corner, Castle Green and on the Bandstand.

The Bristol Batala Samba Band will kick off our performance day at 9:30 am in Beaufort Sq, and the celebration of music will continue until 8 pm on the Bandstand.

To be part of this fabulous day, complete the booking form now!


Bards in the Bar

Take a breather and drop in anytime – we’ll be reading a selection of our poetry and prose, both light-hearted and serious. You can just sit and enjoy or maybe join in and read your work too. And when we take a break you might like to have a go at a fun writing challenge!

Drinks will be available from the bar in the pub. Feel free to bring your lunch. Children are welcome with accompanying adults.

Open mic

Calling local writers! Open mic contributions are very welcome, especially on the festival themes of creativity and the local environment and nature. They should be no longer than 2-3 minutes, please, and suitable for a family audience. Ideally, but not essential, please let us know beforehand if you’re going to contribute as this will help us to plan the session