Creative Digest

Jo Atherton

Wishing all readers of the HVA Newsletter a very happy new year! Our minds often turn to resolutions and ambitions at this time of year as artists begin planning what they would like to achieve in the coming twelve months. One question we were recently emailed was ‘how do I have an exhibition’?  For those of you at the start of your creative journey, this can be an unknown territory to step into.

Keep an eye on Call for Entries or sometimes called Call to Artists. Herts Visual Arts provides a regularly updated list of opportunities available to members which is well worth looking at. Applications are often invited for solo or group exhibitions at a variety of spaces in the region.

It is also a good idea to visit the opportunities section of the popular I send you this website, along with the Red Squirrel Gallery who list both national and international exhibition opportunities. 

Organising a Group Exhibition is often the less daunting way to begin if you don’t yet have a large body of work ready to show. Exhibiting alongside others can become a very sociable experience and bring benefits when publicising the event as you all advertise to your individual networks. HVA offers the chance to meet with other artists working within the same medium and a trip over to the HVA Members’ Gallery pages can be a great starting point.

Think creatively about where you would like to see your work exhibited. Cafes, museums, art community centres, hospitals and even Luton Airport have offered artists the opportunity to show their work to a huge variety of people. Don’t always feel you have to wait for an opportunity to arise either - be proactive! Once you have your ideal venue in mind, why not arrange a meeting with the manager to discuss your ideas? Take along some examples of your work or photographs and and explain why you feel their venue would work especially well as a place to exhibit your art.

Don’t forget that participating in Open Studios can be a really useful way of making contact with potential Gallery owners or proprietors of places where you would like to display your work. By inviting people directly into your creative space, they can meet you personally and have the chance to ask detailed questions about your creative process, finished pieces and inspirations. Also, it’s worth mentioning that inclusion in the Open Studios brochure goes far beyond the event itself. I have seen people refer to this publication almost like a directory of creatives in the county.

Online applications for Open Studios 2016 begin on 1st February so why not make participation in this county-wide event part of your exhibition plan this year?