From early morning viewings and late night culture crawls, to Pop Ups, Mud Ovens, workshops, tours and insight from world leading artists - this year’s programme has something for everyone

  • Internationally acclaimed artists to present Keynote Lecture and Artist Talks. Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller to give Keynote Lecture on creating world premiere Night Walk for Edinburgh; Samson Young, David Batchelor, and Nathan Coley among speakers sharing fascinating insight into their work through artist talks.
  • A series of pop up exhibitions and events, featuring work from artists including Adrian Wiszniewski, Damien Cifelli and Bernie Reid, with a second-hand shop, St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, Custom House Leith, and Travelling Gallery among diverse venues presenting across Edinburgh
  • Celebrate the city’s incredible galleries by night at Art Late, with bespoke activity for unique festival experiences
  • The return of Bobby Niven’s hugely popular Palm House brings special opportunities to enjoy new storytelling events, and pizza making in the artist’s Mud Oven
  • Hiroshima prize winner, New York based, Chilean artist Alfredo Jaar to inspire debate on our uncertain times with street interventions
  • New site-specific two-part performance at Jupiter Artland from leading South African artist Mary Hurrell as part of Jupiter Rising to be a highlight of festival closing weekend
  • Workshops, performances, family events, Festival Breakfast Club, and much more taking place across the city throughout Edinburgh Art Festival 2019

The full programme for Edinburgh Art Festival 2019 goes live today (Tuesday 25 June) as organisers announce details of the Pop Up Programme of new exhibitions, and a wide-ranging series of talks and events which will give audiences new ways to engage with the Festival’s diverse line-up of exhibitions taking place throughout the city.

Running from 25 July – 25 August, Edinburgh Art Festival is the major platform for the visual arts as part of Edinburgh’s world-famous August festival season.

With late night curated tours featuring special performances, talks by internationally acclaimed and emerging artists, exhibitions and events in the Pop Up Programme, workshops and tours especially for families, and the chance to enjoy storytelling with pizza among the line-up, the Edinburgh Art Festival 2019 Pop Up Programme, events and talks offer wonderful experiences for everyone.

A series of unmissable events bring the artists’ viewpoint to audiences through Artist Talks and the annual prestigious Keynote Lecture.

For the 2019 Keynote Lecture, globally recognised Canadian artists Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller will share their inspiration, practice and experiences of making The Fruitmarket Gallery commissioned immersive video walk, Night Walk for Edinburgh.  The Keynote Lecture is a partnership between Edinburgh Art Festival, British Council Scotland, National Galleries of Scotland and Edinburgh College of Art, and The University of Edinburgh, presented in partnership with The Fruitmarket Gallery.

The Edinburgh Art Festival 2019 Artist Talk series brings personal insight from international, UK and Scottish based artists on the innovative work they are presenting this year.

Highlights include artist and writer David Batchelor hosting an informal walkthrough of his solo exhibition My Own Private Bauhaus at Ingleby. This exhibition of painting and sculpture pays tribute to the Bauhaus movement on the 100th anniversary of its founding through Batchelor’s personal appreciation of the square, circle and triangle. Talbot Rice Gallery presents an in-conversation event with acclaimed Hong Kong artist and composer Samson Young and Professor Stefan Bilbao, principal investigator for Next Generation Sound Synthesis (NESS) research group at the University of Edinburgh. They will explore Real Music, Samson Young’s first exhibition in Scotland and his first major solo show in the UK, which will receive its world premiere at Edinburgh Art Festival 2019.  Visitors will also have the chance to meet Caroline Achaintre and hear about her process in making the newly commissioned work for Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop during a brunch tour of her exhibition. Leading artists Nathan Coley, Rosalind Nashashibi, Sriwhana Spong and Corin Sworn will talk about their major new work created for the festival’s Commissions Programme, and there is also the opportunity to hear from the exciting emerging artists whose work is to be showcased through Platform: 2019 Anna Danielewicz, Joanne Dawson, Harry Maberly and Suds McKenna.

A very special curated tour will be a highlight of every Thursday evening during the festival. Art Late takes guests on a culture crawl featuring artist talks and hands-on workshops, special one-off performances, including artist Hannah Tuulikki at Edinburgh Printmakers as part of her cross-artform project Deer Dancer, and opportunities to enjoy exhibitions as dusk falls in Edinburgh including new work from Turner Prize nominee James Richards in Collective’s stunning new exhibition space on Calton Hill.

Collective will also present their ongoing series of Observers Walks including a new iteration from Alexandra Laudo, available for visitors to experience as an audio guide from the perspective of the artist as they explore Calton Hill.

Special projects from artists and organisations that don’t have a year-round presence in the city is showcased at the festival through the annual Pop Up Programme.

The 2019 Pop Up exhibitions and events include Day of Access by artist and poet Alec Finlay at the Travelling Gallery as part of a project encouraging access to wild land; Damien Cifelli who presents Tarogramma Archive –  a collection of artefacts and images that reveal the history of a hidden land – at the Italian Cultural Institute and The Dundas Street Gallery; Sixth by PYRUS which is a site specific, large scale botanical installation at Custom House Leith; place+platform present UNKENNY, an unsettling site-specific exhibition showcasing strangely familiar art oddities within the unique surrounds of a junk shop sited at Settlement Projects; and Deveron Projects and Many Studios host Movement of Freedom, an afternoon of discussions at Stills Gallery on current UK visa regulations and the impact on the creative and cultural sector in Scotland today.

I am gang by Bernie Reid is a series of new paintings, sculptures and prints informed by the artist’s interest in subcultures, at Basic Mountain; the expansive, large scale painting Lake Tekapo by renowned Scottish artist Adrian Wiszniewski will be presented by The Parish Church of St Cuthbert; available from venues across Edinburgh, Quality Sleep, Harmony Life! is a somewhat raucous, happily irreverent, opinionated publication; the exhibition, An Observation, stems from archival work undertaken by artist Amanda Baron for the Wilhelmina Barns-Graham Trust; and Vanishing Point: Where Species Meet is a performance-based video installation at St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral by artist team Snæbjörnsdóttir/Wilson, who have a multidisciplinary, international practice

Commissioned for the 2017 festival by artist Bobby Niven on the site of Johnston Terrace Wildlife Garden – the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s smallest nature reserve – Palm House returns for 2019. Visitors can take time out from the bustle of the August festivals in this unique space, enjoying a series of new free-from planters designed by Bobby Niven, and spend time in the reading room with books relating to the Commissions Programme and the wider festival. Each Friday at Johnstone Terrace Wildlife Garden is Mud Oven Afternoon, when visitors can make pizza in the festival’s very own mud oven and enjoy a range of storytelling events led by artists, writers, poets and communities from across the city.

As a highlight of the festival’s closing weekend Jupiter Rising – Jupiter Artland’s annual festival of art, music and performance – will feature a new two-part site-specific performance for the bodies of water at this unique venue by South African artist Mary Hurrell.

A series of impromptu street performances will invite festival goers to join the conversation inspired by internationally acclaimed artist Alfredo Jaar’s work I Can’t Go On, I’ll Go on, which is part of Edinburgh Art Festival 2019’s Commission Programme and takes its title from a Samuel Beckett novel. A neon sign on the ‘Bridge of Sighs’, which spans West College Street, connecting festival partners National Museum of Scotland and Talbot Rice Gallery, will display the text. The performances will take the words – which for Jaar offer a perfect message for the era we live in – out into the surrounding streets.

For those who would like an early start to their festival day, the Dundas Street galleries – The Fine Art Society, The Scottish Gallery, Open Eye Gallery and Arusha Gallery – will be hosting The Breakfast Club every Thursday morning with a series of events. The Fine Art Society will host sculptor Nicole Farhi in conversation with Selina Skipwith on her relationship with friend and mentor Eduardo Paolozzi; The Scottish Gallery hosts Julie Lawson, Chief Curator of Portraiture for National Galleries of Scotland, giving a short lecture on Derrick Guild’s Ever After; and at Open Eye Gallery, Joan Busby, mezzo-soprano, will give a talk about the life of her late husband John Busby and a musical performance.

Other highlights include the lecture Victoria Crowe: Painting the Poetry at City Art Centre; Sculpture Saturdays for children and their families at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop; events based around Cut and Paste: 400 Years of Collage and early evening tours of the Bridget Riley exhibition from National Galleries of Scotland; a curator’s tour of Cindy Sherman: Early Works, 1975-80 at Stills: Centre for Photography; and a metal embossing and gilding workshop at The Queen’s Gallery inspired by Russia, Royalty & the Romanovs.

There is the opportunity to join the Dovecot curators for an early morning talk and viewing of Grayson Perry: Julie Cope’s Grand Tour and discover how the exhibition has been expanded for the Edinburgh Art Festival.

For adults and children of all ages, Art Early, offers family focused morning tours of festival venues with creative activities and refreshments along the way.

While City Stories, a series of special walks and talks, will explore the historic sites of the Old Town, St Bernard’s Well and Parliament Hall and how they have informed work at this year’s festival.

Edinburgh Art Festival is a city-wide celebration of the very best in visual art during Edinburgh’s world-famous August festival season, and highlights the strength of the city’s year-round visual arts offering.

The extensive programme of events and talks and the Pop Up Programme run alongside a vibrant, diverse range of exhibitions presented and commissioned by the capital’s leading galleries, museums and artist run spaces, and the Edinburgh Art Festival Commissions Programme and Platform: 2019 showcase.

Edinburgh Art Festival runs from 25 July – 25 August 2019.

For more information, please visit or follow the Festival on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @EdArtFest #EdArtFest