Update from the Chairman

HVA Chairman, Mel Hilbrown summarises his report to the 2011 AGM

HVA has continued with its programme to find more opportunities for Herts artists to both promote themselves and sell their works. The Hertford Theatre 12 Inch Square event was a daring move, after the successful Kingsbury Barn event last year, to encourage visibility in a fine new venue. The fixed format meant that most of the work had to be especially created for the exhibition. There was a fine range of art on display, and 14% of works were sold.

After a very successful 2010, the numbers opening their studios in 2011 are down at 146, which, whilst still excellent, will reduce revenue significantly. Because HVA had been financially successful in 2010, as well as having a great Open Studios, it was agreed at the AGM to continue with the commitment to spend on advertising this year, using reserves.

However, the outlook for 2012 for Open Studios especially is much more difficult with grant funding cuts, unless numbers improve significantly. Unfortunately, it will not be possible to know this before key financial decisions are taken. The Organising Group will review sponsorship and other funding possibilities before considering expenditure reduction – by far the biggest element of which is the full printed catalogue.

HVA relies on volunteers both from among its members and their contacts and from outside volunteers. But for many roles it needs to be members. We are still seeking a newsletter editor, a web editor and a meetings organiser, as well as additional help on the Open Studios Team. So if you are able to fill any of these roles - or you know someone who would like to get involved - please contact chair@hvaf.org.uk

MEL HILBROWN, Chairman Herts Visual Arts