In September 1994 a group of Somerset artists initiated a one-week open studio festival as a way of promoting their work directly to buyers and for making contact with other artists in the county. It was such a success that there has been a regular Artweek festival in Somerset every other year since 1994, becoming a 2-weekly event in September 2000.
Since its inception, the Artweek festival has provided a wonderful opportunity for visual artists and makers of all kinds to show their work and open up their studios to a highly appreciative public. It has also enabled artists themselves to become more aware of each other's existence and the rich mix of creative activity, which they provide within Somerset.
In February 2000, SAW Ltd was set-up to provide a permanent organisational structure to represent, facilitate and broaden all of these aspects and to extend its work by promoting a programme of events and projects between the Artweek festivals. The biennial Artweek became an important event in Somerset's calendar, delighting art lovers from near and far and in 2007 the decision was made by SAW members to turn the festival into an annual two-weekly event with an alternating focus of Open Studios in 2008 and Events and Group Exhibitions in 2009.