THOUSANDS of people are expected to attend the Purbeck Art Weeks (PAW) Festival, which is scheduled to start next weekend. (May 26)

The event includes a number of art exhibitions, open studios, concerts and talks at venues across the district.

Painting, photography, sculpture, ceramics, prints and mosaics, woodwork, digital art and more will be on view.

Rollington Barn, near Corfe Castle, will be hosting a collective exhibition of more than 100 artists, alongside work from all 17 Purbeck Young Artist's school workshops.

Information about what is on across the district will also be available at the barn.

As the countdown to the festival opening tick down, organisers have announced a special PAW sketching tent - which will open from day one up until June 3 - offering special sketching days for visitors and artists at the RSPB reserve at Arne.

PAW spokesman Charlotte Heath explained: "It is set up in an area called The Grip, that has spectacular views over Middlebere Channel towards Corfe Castle, and is not normally open to the public. Just come along and have a go, all ages are welcome."

Another workshop, likely to be a favourite this year among wind and string instrument fans, is the classical improvisation with the Durufle Trio.

This workshop, taking place on June 5, is based on music performed by the trio in the evening, and is free with the purchase of a ticket for the evening concert.

Charlotte said: "For experienced singers there is an opportunity to sing madrigals with the award-winning Fieri Consort – and to experience the excitement of performing as an ensemble without a conductor. Admission to this workshop on June 9th is on purchase of a ticket for the evening concert.

"As you go round the open studios have fun deciding which piece/s of art you might buy if you were the lucky winner of PAW’s £250 postcard competition.

"Many of our local shops are participating in a window display competition on the festival theme of ‘Movement’ – so check their windows and support them by voting for your favourite display online at"

The festival takes place May 26 - June 10.