The Folkestone Triennial is a major exhibition of contemporary public art that takes place in Folkestone every three years. It represents the flagship visual arts element of a major regeneration project, led by The Creative Foundation, that began in the Kent coast town in 2003/4, with major financial support from RDHCT.
The Trust committed to provide core £1.5 million funding for an initial three Triennial exhibitions, the first in 2008, inviting contemporary artists to use Folkestone itself as a kind of ‘canvas’, utilising public spaces to create striking new pieces that reflect issues affecting both the town and the wider world.
The first two exhibitions were curated by Andrea Schlieker, freelance curator, lecturer and writer, and the 2014 Folkestone Triennial was curated by Lewis Biggs, former Director of Tate Liverpool and founding Trustee and Director of the Liverpool Biennial. The exhibitions have been received with considerable critical acclaim and attracted increasing numbers of visitors to Folkestone, many for the first time. By retaining some of the artworks from each exhibition on a permanent basis, the longer term ambition is to establish the town as an important centre where visitors can see and enjoy works by important contemporary artists at any time.
Further Triennial exhibitions are being planned.