Open Studios press release

Herts Open Studios 2018 – Discover more this September

Herts Open Studios 2018 will run for 3 weeks from 8th-30th September 2018 inclusive.  This popular annual event connects art-lovers and artists and is even bigger this year, with 150 artists are taking part at almost 70 solo and group venues across the County. As always, visitors will be able to enjoy a rich mix of free-to-enter experiences including personal studios, live demonstrations, exhibitions and more. Hosted by Herts Visual Arts and established almost 30 years ago, it’s a unique opportunity for inspiration and discovery - a popular fixture of Hertfordshire’s annual art calendar

The widely-acclaimed Big Art Showcase at Welwyn Garden City’s New Maynard Gallery gave visitors just a taste of Open Studios. Our July Big Art Fair in Hitchin during the Hitchin Festival not only provides a feast of art, but again marks our Open Studios Brochure Launch. Other Herts Visual Art Showcases include Hatfield’s Living Crafts and the Herts Show are also part of the lead-in to Open Studios.

What can Open Studios visitors expect? Our artists, artisans and designer-makers across Hertfordshire offer enormous choice and opportunities. With painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, glass, photography, ceramics, textiles, jewellery, a blacksmith and more in the 2018 #HertsOpenStudios mix, visitors will be able to plan amazing personal art trails. Our artists are ready to show, demonstrate or talk about their work, or just allow quiet browsing if preferred. Regardless, a warm welcome is assured at every venue.

This year’s sought-after Open Studios brochure is again in the new A5 format that proved so popular last year. An amazing mine of reference information about individual artists and venues, venues and opening hours, including demonstrations, refreshments and accessibility information. Widely available at public locations across the county as well as from participating Open Studios Artists, the brochure is also available online via the Herts Visual Arts website. To help plan visits and personal trails, there’s also a central at-a-glance mini-guide listing all venues, dates and art forms.

“Last year’s new-look brochure proved very popular and this year we have even more artists taking part” said Herts Visual Arts Chair, Hillary Taylor, who continued “Open Studios is always a fantastic opportunity for inspirational connections between artists and visitors. How often can you be sure of a chance to talk to an artist about their work, watch work in progress or perhaps even have a go yourself?  Whatever your interests, there’s bound to be somewhere local to visit, from individual studios to larger mixed groups.  Welcome to Open Studios 2018 - what’s not to like?” ‘More creativity, more fun, more buzz, more laughter in our lives’


Herts Visual Arts is the largest county-wide volunteer run organisation for amateur and professional artists and makers in Hertfordshire. An annual programme includes members meetings, exhibitions, Art Showcases, the Big Art Fair and Herts Open Studios.

Many artists join simply to be part in Open Studios each year – but there is so much more to the excellent value annual membership (currently just £40 per year, with senior and school/FTE concessions available). *Registration for Open Studios is not included in the cost of membership.

Benefits of annual membership include a gallery on the HVA website, social media promotion across HVA platforms and a PRIVATE Facebook group to connect with other members. There’s also access to opportunities and a full annual programme of meetings and events, just for members. A monthly newsletter includes news, opportunities and exhibitions across Hertfordshire, as well as hints, tips and articles on Open Studios, marketing and more. Members can also promote their workshops, classes, exhibitions and publications and contribute to the newsletter itself.

A special school (art/design department) free of charge membership keeps local schools in touch with the arts and can help support Artsmark or other initiatives. Registered schools receive the newsletter and access to opportunities and teachers/pupils can attend talks free of charge.  *Registration for Open Studios is not included in membership, and full membership must be taken out to take part in Open Studios.

20th April – 2nd June:  Herts Visual Arts Big Art Showcase, New Maynard Gallery, Welwyn Garden City,  AL8 6BX  A rich mix of creativity and skill on show for this annual Herts Visual Arts member’s Big Art Showcase, with more than 50 Hertfordshire artists and artisan makers taking part. First in a series of 2018 member-led events, a visual feast awaits gallery visitors with a wide range of paintings, drawings, ceramics, glass, textiles, mixed media and more on display. All work is for sale. Herts Visual Arts members are all artists who live or work in Hertfordshire.

10th-13th May:  Herts Visual Arts Living Crafts Showcase at Hatfield House.  Visit the Herts Visual Arts Marquee at Living Crafts for a fantastic opportunity to meet 24 members.  Each day six different 2D and 3D artists will be on hand, ready to talk to visitors who can experience work in the making, watch demonstrations and see completed work on show. A unique chance to purchase direct from the artist/maker.  

26th-27th May:  Herts Visual Arts at the Herts Show. An opportunity for Herts Show visitors to find out more about Herts Visual Arts, either as members, a visitor to one of HVAF signature events, or as a potential sponsor/advertiser. Speak to members and organising committee in the Made in Herts Marquee to find out about our amazing member-led organisation: bringing ‘More creativity, more fun, more buzz, more laughter in our lives’.

14th-15th July: Herts Visual Arts Big Art Fair.  Following on from the success of our art fair last July during the Hitchin Festival, we’re delighted to bring the Big Art Fair back to Hitchin during this year’s festival.  Bigger than last year’s highly successful event, art by over 50 2D and 3D artists and artisans will be on display at Hitchin Town Hall.  All work will be for sale, with opportunities to meet the artists.  Please get in touch if you would like an invitation to our exclusive Private View in the evening of Friday 13th July that will feature/launch the 2018 Herts Open Studios Brochure.  Sponsorship opportunities also available.

8th-30th September: Herts Open Studios 2018

Herts Open Studios is Herts Visual Arts annual flagship event, when artists open their doors to visitors. Details of participating venues and artists will be available on line and in print from Summer 2018, with brochure launch at the Big Art Fair. There is also a comprehensive advertising and sponsorship offering.

The easiest way to join HVA is online


Twitter: @HVAF #hertsopenstudios

Facebook: @HertsVisualArts

Press Release by Hillary Taylor

Press contacts are:

For marketing email Kelly