Esther Lafferty says Oxford's rich heritage is apparent in the art on show in the city

You’ve probably seen Oxfordshire Artweeks flags waving vigorously in the wind as Oxford celebr-ates its artistic contingent and throws open a myriad of studios and exhibitions for your enjoyment — almost 200 venues are open in the city until bank holiday Monday.

From professional artists to youngsters in the city’s schools, the community has been taking part enthusiastically, and you can see an interactive children’s art installation at The Ashmolean amongst their antiquities. Who’d have thought painted pots of yesteryear would be on display with thousands of visitors filing past?

‘Lost property’ is the theme of a Summertown exhibition in support of Shelter charity as artists respond to humble everyday artefacts in two and three dimensions. Claudia Figueredo describes herself as ‘life enthusiast’, her artistic practice celebrating and preserving transient objects, while ceramicist Rose Wallace creates unique figurines that recall traditional Staffordshire mantelpiece ornaments and quietly capture the minutiae of modern life.

There are several dozen potters and ceramicists taking part in Artweeks, from Crabby Taylor whose prize-winning ‘raku’ style requires goggles and gauntlets to broach a flaming metal bin at 1000C, to Wolvercote’s Janet Cross, whose delicate pots look as if they’re made from fabric.

Over at Modern Art Oxford, contemporary artist Sean Lynch explores, with an unusual flavour, the work of two 19th-century freehand stone carvers whose controversial animals can be seen on Oxford’s Museum of Natural History. For stone art created this century, visit the Turrill Sculpture Garden tucked behind the Summertown library or the Banbury Road home of Vital Peeters, who is also one of the country’s top contemporary glass artists creating colourful architectural commissions, just a mile away from Philip Dove in Wolvercote, whose stunning stained glass designs are both traditional and ultra-modern.

Glass has long been an artistic medium, the mystical effects of painted and stained glass reflecting the symbolic significance ascribed to light in Christian theology in medieval Europe, and Oxford has some of the finest stained glass in the UK, including a wealth of 19th-century glass by William Morris and his contemporaries. Jericho’s St Barnabas Church was founded by Thomas Coombe, the patron of the pre-Raphaelites, and is a bustling Artweeks hub and well worth a visit, as is nearby glass artist Wendy Newhofer who explains the magical alchemy she uses, combining glass and metal in the form of precious leaf and wire, a fusion of elements that can be unpredictable but which gives each delicate piece its individual character.

Art and science touch too as biomedical scientist Maria Kuzma-Kuzniarska explores the inherent beauty of human biology in The Jam Factory, and the human form is brought to life, with minimal lines in simple linocuts, by former medical illustrator Debbie Sutcliffe in East Oxford and in striking black ink by Oxford Art Society’s David Jones, who finds inspiration in the statues in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford’s rich heritage ever-apparent in the art on show in the city today.