Umbrella show reigns!

AN umbrella painting project that sprang up here in Hertfordshire is now on a whirlwind tour of the world.

HVAF members Bryan Swain Parkes and Brigid Marlin teamed up with a group of Hertfordshire artists to take part in a project sponsored by the Zendai Museum of Modern Art in Shanghai.

The idea was to produce a series of paintings on umbrellas which could be folded up and easily transported to China for exhibition.

The project, called Art Intrude, aimed to bring art to the people of Shanghai, or to ‘intrude’ into their lives with art.

The group of Hertfordshire painters and sculptors invited artist friends from around the world to participate, and ended up with 31 umbrellas from 10 countries: Canada, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Kenya, UK and USA.
Subjects ranged from flowers, lions, dragons, turtles, mice, octopuses, owls, butterflies and spiders to eyes, hands and people.

Interest in the Shanghai umbrella show prompted a tour invite, and so far the umbrellas have been exhibited in Italy, Kenya and Germany. Currently, the umbrellas are on show at The Seed Gallery, Newark, New Jersey, USA.

More tours are planned and HVAF artists are also invited to take part in the project, and can produce an umbrella painting to join the tour at any point!

Future dates include a gallery in Cleveland, Ohio, USA in June 2010. Curators are particularly keen to show outdoor umbrellas.
In 2011, the Philadelphia Institute of Technology is hosting the umbrella show: indoor and outdoor umbrellas. The outdoor umbrellas will be part of a ceremony for the opening of a new college building.

Members who would like to participate should contact Brigid Marlin at