March 2018

Membership renewal reminder

Thank-you to everyone who has already renewed. 

We’re into the final month of discounted early bird renewals before fees become full price on 1st April. 

There’s more and more going on for our members and fees are staying the same for another year, so it’s a good time to take advantage of our value-for-money membership.
Please remember that to sign-up for any of our events, you must have already renewed your membership or be a new member since Jan1st 2018. This is especially important to keep your place for our Big Art Showcase that starts in April – booking confirmations are starting shortly.
There’s more information about Membership on our website.


Is our Big Art Fair in your diary?

Hitchin Town Hall, 14th 15th July, with PV 13th July, during the Hitchin Festival. There’s been a great response to our initial call for artists and we are now at capacity for Expressions of Interest (but please continue to register if you want to join the waiting list). Lots of work has already gone into organisation, layout, design and marketing to make this even bigger and better than last year.

If you’ve registered your interest, please also watch out for event-specific emails over the next months. These will contain important information including fees, event organisation and response/payment requirements and deadlines. We recommend you act promptly to keep your place in the queue. 
Please also remember that you must have renewed your membership before you apply.  Go click that renew button now, if you haven’t already.


Our Showcase is almost here

We’ve had a huge response to this year’s call for artists: 3D is now ‘bulging’ there are just a few 2D places left, and we will shortly be running a waiting list.

Important diary dates are 20th April to 2nd June at the New Maynard Gallery, with a PV on 19th April.  Remember everyone is welcome to the PV so please come along and support your fellow artists. 

Please also remember that to keep your place you must have renewed your membership before you apply.  Go click that renew button now, if you haven’t already.

If you’ve registered, please keep an eye out for some important emails that will come your way. These emails may include specific deadlines and will be asking you to list work, gallery and other essential organisation details. Subject to balancing space available for 2D/3D work, in the first instance, forms will go members who fit the priority conditions:
  • Joined/renewed for 2018/19
  • New members since 1/1/2018
  • OS participation
  • Space available


Have you noticed our new branding?

Some of you may have seen the preview in January and we just love these designs, put together by two of our members. They are bound to ensure we continue to grow for our members, connecting with other artists, our audiences, and opportunities.
Without a doubt we are aiming for
‘More creativity, more fun, more buzz, more laughter in our lives’ 
Already embedded in our 2018 Showcase and Fair, it will continue to roll out during the year through all our events and publicity.

Open Studios 2018 is on its way

Building on the success of last year, we’re getting ready to open bookings and start registrations in earnest.  Now is a good time to think about how you can to take part in our 3-week art adventure.  Not everyone has a home studio, or wants to open their home, so here are a few examples of how members have joined in:  local coffee shop, pop-up shop, share studio/home space with a friend, stage exhibitions in a local hall, pub, local gallery space, galleries for hire, art collectives, shared studios.  Why not browse last year’s brochure for inspiration and take a look around your local area for ideas.
Sometimes artists tell us that they are looking for shared space, sometimes spaces tell us they are looking for artists. Where we hear about these, we list them on the website and there will also be a ‘lost and found’ section in our PRIVATE Facebook page and also on our new Public Facebook Open Studios.  If you want to join and perhaps find or share a space, it’s a good time to start looking.
To make the most of open studios and help visitors get to you, we also recommend that you open for perhaps at least 5 days and coordinate at least some of your days with other artists close to you. 


This year is rushing by already, brought home to me as I juggle HVAF organisation/development, my own bookings at art fairs and my day job.  While nursing a sore throat recently, I had a few moments to reflect on last year and plan for this year.

Some of you will know that I set myself the (ambitious, as it happens) target of visiting every Open Studios last September.  I got more than half-way, but a few things thwarted my ambition (quite apart from my car breaking down, nothing to do with OS). My main barrier came down to the number of studios open in a particular area on any day.  I appreciate that we all have busy lives and different priorities, but as Open Studios edges closer, I ask you to consider how you can coordinate with other members in your area.  

I have to say though, each and every visit I managed was inspirational so I’m looking forward to this year – starting with the people I missed in 2017. Perhaps in 2018 I’ll manage to meet almost all of our members?

While renewals, our Showcase, Fair, Open Studios and other events may seem a good few weeks away, please remember that our volunteers fit preparation in around their day jobs. Prompt renewals, signups or checking booking information all really help our amazing volunteers do an even better job on your behalf.  Please take a moment to give them a cheer. 


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Dates for your diaries

Membership renewals, earlybird discount until 31st March 2018.
Big Art Showcase, NMG, 20th April – 2nd June, PV 19th April, almost fully booked.
Living Crafts, Hatfield, 10th-13th May, fully booked.
Herts Show, Made in Herts, 26th, 27th May: looking for 4 volunteers (2/day).
Big Art Fair, Hitchin, 14th 15th July, with PV 13th July: now wait-listing.
Open Studios:  Saturday 8th – Sunday 30th September. Preparing to open bookings soon.