Thoughts from the Chair

At the recent Organising Group (OG) meeting we reviewed the financial outcome from 2012. Although the information at this stage is preliminary, it looks as though 2012 will have repaired some of the damage to HVA's financial reserves of 2011.


Reserves had reduced to a level where, if 2012 had been like 2011, it would have been very difficult to sanction an Open Studios programme in 2013. Now we can feel confident for 2013 and 2014 at least. And, if we have a successful 2013, we can look further into the future.

So what has changed? Well firstly, our membership has continued to grow to over 440 members currently.  Secondly, and most importantly, a lot more of our members participated in Open Studios – over 30 more than in 2011; and thirdly we were successful on a number of front related to costs and contribution: we brought some of the catalogue work ‘in-house’ and saved brochure costs, we managed to still get over £3k of grants although this will not be the case in 2013, and Linda was very successful in selling advertising space (nearly £4k).

So with the call to artists just going out for Open Studios 2013, what can you all do to help? Well, firstly, if you can, participate in Open Studios; but if you cannot this year, then make sure you tell all your contacts about Open Studios and encourage others to join HVA if they are not members, and to exhibit; and, if they are not artists, to go and see some of the Open Studios. OS is now only a part of HVA’s activities and only half of all income, but still the biggest single part of what we do. The economy is showing some small signs of improving, and people are just a little more willing to spend than this time last year. So do all you can to make Open Studios a success again this year.

CHAIR, Herts Visual Arts