July 2017


Sadness in goodbyes, trepidation and a touch of excitement were just a few of the things going through my head before, during and after our AGM on Monday. However, I am honoured at the trust you have put in me, elected as your new Chair.  I promise to work hard on behalf of all our members to grow Herts Visual Arts into whatever positive future awaits us.  For those who don’t know me yet, I’m a Chartered Engineer with an Art habit, or is it the other way round? In any case, my background is in business development and in school I was always in trouble for drawing too much, mostly all over the front and back covers of my subject notebooks, in margins and ….  In any case, I look forward to visiting as many Open Studios as humanly possible in September and also hope to find excuses/reasons to come and talk to as many members as possible. 

Our newest biggest event is our Affordable Art Fair on Saturday and Sunday 29th/30th July during the Hitchin Festival.  With some 40 places snapped up within hours of announcement, this promises to be a fine affair at the Sun Hotel. Whether or not you are taking part yourself, please share publicity with all your contacts and help make this even bigger than we think it will be. 

Open Studios update

Getting closer day by day, our new-format A5 brochure is planned to be with us for Friday 28th July, the launch of our Affordable Art Fair in Hitchin. We are delighted to have the support of so many advertisers, offering all sorts of opportunities to artists and non-artists alike and there’s a couple of new features that we think will go down well.  Watch out during

Watch out during week beginning 10th July for any final print proof emails because deadlines are fast approaching: the brochure will be going to the printer no later than Monday 17th July. Once back from the printer, there’ll be a period of brochure (and other materials) distribution, with information on how you can collect your items.

If you are doing Open Studios this year, please do look out for specific emails – each one will contain important relevant information that needs your attention.  In the meantime – have you thought about your own marketing campaign? 

Lucinda joined us as our Open Studios Project Manager last year, delivered OS2016 and throughout this year has been working hard on OS2017.  Sadly we now have to say goodbye: Lucinda has decided to move on after making sure the big issues related to entries and this years’ new-look brochure are organised, secure and well on their way.  Her other projects, including the very exciting Herts-wide ‘Traditional Hertfordshire’  that you may have seen advertised were taking more and more of her time. HVA will very definitely miss her and are very sorry to lose her contribution to OS.

HVA members are now working on finalising our OS17 brochure and lead-in arrangements. The openstudios@hvaf.org.uk email address, plus others that she monitored have been redirected to other committee members. Remaining OS organisation issues have already been handed over and work continues to deliver a sparkly Open Studios this year, building on the firm foundation that Lucinda built. Any specific questions, please direct them to Hillary vicechair@hvaf.org.uk in the first instance  – we will be focussed on a seamless transition to this next stage of Open Studios. 

We’d like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank-you to Lucinda for taking over our event and getting it to this strong position.  We know that she’s worked extremely hard last year and this to help make OS a success, and we couldn’t have achieved it without her.  She will be missed, but we do also wish her every success in her growing portfolio of other projects.

Open Studios 2017 - how to make the most of the publicity

Open Studios 2017 is coming soon, and we have a great opportunity to gain some publicity and momentum for ourselves as artists' and also for Open Studios as an event. 

Please find below a short video on our social media and marketing approach for 2017 Open Studios - please watch!

(also relevant if you're not taking part this year.)

All of the links you'll need can be found below the video, please log in to view.