HVA @ The Herts Show 2014

On 24-25 May, a select group of Herts Visual artists manned a stall at the Hertfordshire County Show. The team, organised by Jo Atherton included a mixture of art forms to showcase the wide range of skills and talent we have across the county.

The team included Linda Gifford (textiles), Patrick Joyce (ceramics), Sarah Poppleton (oil paintings), Suman Gujral (printmaker) , Hillary Taylor (graphic artist) and Sue Wookey (painter/illustrator). Saturday's rain failed to dampen their spirits and Sunday's good weather brought in bumper crowds.

Based in the Made in Hertfordshire tent, HVA found itself alongside quality designer makers and food producers. Artist Sue Wookey shares her impressions of the weekend - ‘Those do-it-all-in-an-hour reality programmes have nothing on the members of the HVA when they've got the paint brush between their teeth. When it was all up it looked surprisingly fab, despite the swampy atmosphere. In fact our whole tent was full of interesting stuff. We decided that the Made In Hertfordshire Tent was one of the Best Tents. If you had to be in any tent it was the tent to be in.’

The team felt this tent placed them in an ideal position alongside other quality local creatives and producers. Selected to present a diverse mix of creativity the group enjoyed interest from the public and were able to chat about benefits of membership while encouraging them to get involved in Open Studios.

As with any of these outdoor marquee events, visitor numbers will always be weather dependent, and this was no different for the 2014 County Show. 30,000 visitors came through the gates over the course of the weekend, with 24,000 of these being on the Sunday, a new record for the Show’s attendance. It is easy to see how the rain on Saturday impacted numbers. However, with trusty pairs of wellies and cups of coffee, spirits remained high amongst the group!

Anyone who has ever run a stall to sell their artwork will understand that often, quality not quantity can be the most important factor.  HVA artists made sales and it was a fabulous opportunity to talk to the public about membership and the benefits of participating in Open Studios. Our presence in the Made in Hertfordshire was well chosen, and the general consensus felt by those participating artists was that HVA would have been conspicuous by their absence at this county-wide event.