Edinburgh Art Festival confirms July return

Lessons of the Hour by Isaac Julien

Lessons of the Hour by Isaac Julien

The visual arts festival announces a packed summer programme to celebrate Edinburgh's unique and ambitious artistic community

Edinburgh Art Festival will return for its 17th edition this summer, running from Thursday 29 July to Sunday 29 August. The visual arts festival, running alongside the Edinburgh International Festival and the Edinburgh Fringe, will bring together local galleries, museums and artists in 35 new commissioned exhibitions and festival-led events across the city for audiences to enjoy, both online and in-person.

Highlights from this year's Edinburgh partners include major survey shows and retrospectives at the National Museum of Scotland, with The Galloway Hoard: Viking-age Treasure exhibition, The Queens Gallery, with Victoria & Albert: Our Lives in Watercolour, The Scottish Gallery presenting Joan Eardley, and Dovecot Studios presenting Archie Brennan.

Joan Eardley Seascape

Seascape, c.1961, by Joan Eardley

The festival-led programme boasts a new Associate Artist strand with six specially invited artist commissions curated by Tako Taal, as well a range of solo presentations by Christine Borland at Inverleith House, Alberta Whittle at Jupiter Artland, Frank Walter at Ingleby Gallery, and many more. For the first time, festival goers will also be able to step inside the newly developed Fruitmarket Gallery, where they will see works by contemporary artist Karla Black.

Renowned British artist Isaac Julien will present the European premier of his 10-screen film installation Lessons of the Hour, a poetic meditation on the life of activist and abolitionist Frederick Douglass, in partnership with National Galleries of Scotland.

Leading international names on the bill include Nigerian sound artist Emeka Ogboh who will be presenting an installation co-commissioned by Talbot Rice Gallery and Irish sculptor Sean Lynch's Tak Tent O' Time Ere Time Be Tint in partnership with the Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop.

Sean Lynch A Murmur Repeated

A Murmur Repeated, Tak Tent O' Time Ere Time Be Tint by Sean Lynch

Director of Edinburgh Art Festival, Sorcha Carey, said: 'Festivals have always offered a space for gathering, and this year more than any, we are proud to come together with partners across the city to showcase the work of artists from Scotland, the UK and around the world.

'Some exhibitions are newly made in response to the seismic shifts of the past year; others are the result of many years of planning and careful research; but all are the unique, authentic, and thoughtful products of our city's extraordinarily rich visual art scene.'

More information on Edinburgh Art Festival events, running from Thur 29 Jul - Sun 29 Aug, will be available at edinburghartfestival.com at the end of June.