The landscapes and character of Valais have long inspired artists of every hue. Kokoschka, Marguerite Burnat-Provins, Ferdinand Hodler, Goethe, Kathleen Mansfield and Rainer Maria Rilke all stayed or lived in the canton. But Valais also attracts contemporary creative minds, the likes of Hamish Fulton, Andreas Gursky, Jenny Holzer, Rémy Zaugg, and Panamarenko. Valentin Carron, Latifa Echakhch and Fabrice Gygi have set up their artist's studio there.
It is not just the canton’s natural charms that inspire visitors – its cultural offering does too. This mountainous part of Switzerland with a population of just 350 000 boasts countless museums and art galleries such as Fondation Opale with its collection of contemporary Aboriginal art, Fondation Pierre Gianadda, the Ferme-Asile Centre for Art and Culture, the Valais Museums, Le Manoir in Martigny, the Musée de Bagnes and La Fabrik in Monthey.
Theatre is also alive and well in the numerous theatres in towns, cities and rural areas. Artistic and cultural events abound all year round : Rencontres Orient-Occident, the international cinema showcase DreamAgo, the World VR Forum in Crans-Montana, the PALP Festival, Verbier Art Summit, and more. Festivals of classical and contemporary music include events in Sion, Verbier and Leuk.
Valais is living proof that art and culture can not only exist but thrive outside the major urban centres.