About Us

Kimpton Church by kind permission of Graham Archer

Kimpton Church by kind permission of Graham Archer

The Kimpton Art Show, one of the major events of the Kimpton May Festival, is now in its 37th year and opens on Friday 4th May 2018 at 6.00pm.

Kimpton is a small Hertfordshire village situated in the proximity of Harpenden, Wheathampstead, Hitchin, Stevenage, Luton and Welwyn Garden City.  The Kimpton May Festival attracts many visitors every year with organised events such as a street parade, live concerts, a craft fair, maypole dancing, entertainers, refreshments, market stalls, activities and competitions to suit all ages. With food, drink and music available in the local pub, it is a great destination for the whole May Bank Holiday Weekend.

The Art Show, along with the May Festival itself, was originally set up to provide funds for the restoration of the church following the collapse of the Dacre Chapel roof. The roof has long since been re-built and although much restoration has taken place, an ongoing programme of work is necessary in order to preserve the most historic building in the village for future generations. Proceeds now also support the village Memorial Hall and other local causes.

The Parish Church of St Peter and St Paul is a Grade I listed building situated on a hill overlooking the village, surrounded by a cluster of quaint cottages and offering spectacular views across the Kimpton Valley to the east of the village.

Each year, the Kimpton Art Show brings together over 100 artists from across the region.  Exhibits typically include:

  • oil, watercolour, pastel and mixed media paintings
  • sculptures
  • photography
  • ceramics
  • glass and stained glass
  • textiles

Framed paintings and photographs are hung on display boards around the church and on specially constructed trestles laid across the pews. Other media are exhibited in the Millennium Room, which is enclosed by a contemporary etched door and glass partition.

Although the show is open to artists of all calibres, we seek to ensure that the art show maintains its reputation for variety and quality.  New artists are always very welcome to contact us.

The Art Show is organised by a volunteer committee which includes local artists as well as individuals who contribute with different skillsets.  The Show also depends heavily on the support of the exhibiting artists, our sponsors and other volunteers who join in to help prepare, set up and run the show with ever growing success.

At various times over the weekend, musicians and singers, professional and amateur, perform informally in the church, adding atmosphere and a very living experience to the show.

With works from £20, there is something for everyone’s budget.  We look forward to welcoming you and your families to the Kimpton Art Show.

Opening night

You are invited to the Opening Night of the Kimpton Art Show on Friday 4th May from 6.00 – 9.00pm.

This is a lively occasion when many sales are made. It is an opportunity to browse the exhibition, meet exhibitors and listen to live music.

There is an entry charge of £5.00 per person with a complimentary glass of wine or juice.

Acknowledgements and sponsors

We are indebted to  a large number of individuals.  We would particularly like to acknowledge:

  • The Vicar of Kimpton, Reverend Bonnie Evans-Hills
  • Strutt & Parker Estate Agents, Harpenden
  • My Word Communications
  • The Kimpton Bench Working Party for putting up and taking down the screens and the many helpers who man the desks, run the bar, perform the music, produce the database and catalogue and generally make it all happen.
  • The Director of Bryn Mawr College Library, Pennsylvania, for permission to use the Claud Lovat maypole image free of charge for our charitable event.  The College owns the original image, as well as the copyright to all of Lovat Fraser’s writings and art work.


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