There are many established evenings to go see art around London, including the monthly East London First Thursdays and South London's SLAM Fridays. If a leisurely weekend of art is more up your street then there's the annual Dulwich Festival or London Gallery Day, focussed around Clerkenwell. But one we hadn't yet tried was the emerging art scene in Walthamstow, so we decided to give the E17 art trail a whirl on its opening night.
The art trail is unlike many of the events we've just mentioned because it doesn't have any galleries, instead the focus is on artists' studios, community centres and pretty much anywhere that's willing to display artworks on its walls — including two launderettes turned into an art installation.
The map is vast and covers over 150 venues featuring over 4,000 local artists. So the best bet is to pick a selection on a logical path and go for it — which is exactly what we did. Some of the venues were a little tricky to find and hidden away, but everyone was extremely welcoming. Many of these artists are starting out so the quality is quite varied, but on the plus side this means works can be picked up at very low prices. We saw all type of works from puppets to experimental ceramics. We did seem to be the only people we saw who were following the trail, which suggests that it needs more promotion.
It's a fun way to spend an evening or a day, and it runs for a couple of weeks so there's still time to catch it. Many of the venues only open on weekends so we'd suggest a Saturday stroll as the perfect way to take in as much art as possible.
The E17 art trail runs until 14 June, all of the venues are free to enter.
Also check out our guide to the best pubs in Walthamstow and our guide to buying art at affordable prices.