Big Art Fair

Friday 15th to Sunday 17th July: Our Big Art Fair (BAF) will again be held at Hitchin's Town Hall. It has become an event which members and visitors look forward to every year. This year will be no different.

Artists who are full Members for 2022/23 may apply to be part of our Big Art Fair 2022 by completing the Expression of Interest form. Non-members can simply join as Members in order to take part.

What is it?

Our very popular Big Art Fair is back, right in the middle of the Hitchin Festival.

From 15th-17th July our Big Art Fair will be held in Hitchin's Town Hall: it's an opportunity for Member's to get their work in front of a wide Hertfordshire (and beyond) audience. Imagine a beautiful large hall, full of tables/displays of gorgeous, individual, high-quality hand-crafted objects ...

Friday 15th July 7pm-9pm: In-person Preview Night with Sponsors Choice awards and an opportunity to mingle and enjoy great company as well as the extraordinary art that we know will be on show. It's a relaxed sociable evening. Browse Big Art Fair tables and displays, talk to artists and other visitors, hear from our Sponsors, see who is awarded Sponsors Choice certificates. Participating Artists receive 2 tickets FOC, all others, tickets £2 at the door. 

Saturday/Sunday 16th - 17th July: Big Art Fair is open to the public, free entry during opening hours Saturday 10am-5.30pm, Sunday 10am-4pm.

The #BigArtFair has space for 44 Artists displaying work on 2m x 2m professional white screens, plus around 12 artists on 2m tables around the hall. Visitors can expect a wide-ranging, exciting and enticing array of work: textiles, ceramics, jewellery, sculpture, glass, mixed media, paintings, printing, photography, and more.

We're taking full advantage of our website and strong social media presence for this event. It's a fantastic celebration of our artists and artisan-makers across Hertfordshire as they share their work - a great experience for our visitors and artists alike.

Why take part?

You will be part of our fabulous Big Art Fair, and in addition, HVAF is again delivering on our community values, so you will also benefit from:

Wider visibility/engagement: great exposure comes from the many visitors to the Big Art Fair itself. Alongside increased website and social media visits/activity, this is putting you/your work in front of more potential art lovers and customers.

Increased fellowship and connections: collaborate, support and celebrate. Event feedback clearly shows the benefit of reviewing/presenting art/practice and getting to know fellow artists.

Support on your journey, including Digital Skills: Being part of an Art Fair, selecting and displaying your work, keeping your Gallery content fresh, social media and events are all stepping stones on our respective journeys.

The main strands:

  • In-person Big Art Fair open to the public at Hitchin Town Hall during the Hitchin Festival
  • Big Art Fair flipbook and video, live Social Wall
  • Dates TBD: Targeted promotion and social media presence 
  • 15th July: Preview Night (remember to invite family, friends, customers)
  • 16th-17th July: Big Art Fair exhibition.

Plus behind the scenes:

  • Regular Insider Newsletters for registered participants
  • Downloadable promotional materials
  • Video explainers: how to register
  • Two support sessions: dates TBD (online content, preparing for Hitchin and more)
  • Professional advertising: pre-event Call for Artists plus event promotion.

What do you need to do?

Focus on what you create, start thinking about what you will bring to the #BigArtFair and how you can describe it. What would you display and how will you set it out? Who are your customers and what do they want to see?

  • Register to take part (see dates below)
  • Prepare your exhibition entries (image, title, description, price)
  • Make your Gallery even more beautiful, add video if you haven't already, make sure there's contact information
  • Submit your piece (from your Hitchin selection) for BAF during the upload window, before the flipbook deadline
  • Join in with our support sessions
  • Throughout June/July: share content online using the hashtag #BigArtFair
  • Promote the event, your participation, your work, use our branded graphics
  • Invite friends, family, customers to the Preview Night
  • Join in
  • Keep up to date by opening and reading your Big Art Fair Fair Insider newsletters.

How do you get on the Social Wall? 

  • Post on your own Twitter or Instagram account using #HertsVisualArts throughout the year, #BigArtFair during July.
  • Software magic then adds your post to the Wall.

Don't do social media?

As long as you sign up/upload content by the various deadlines, you can come to our support sessions and be part of our Big Art Fair, Preview Night and art fair.

What else?

  • Please pay attention to these very important dates, and prepare what you need in advance: watch explainer videos, read the guidelines.
  • Please use our branded graphics and remember to tell your family, friends, customers and other audiences all about it 

(Please Note: these may change/be adjusted as we finalise the program).

Key Dates

  • May 2022: Press Release, Members Call for Artists plus county-wide call begins.
  • Early May: Expression of Interest opens (no fee at this stage)
  • June 9th: Fee payment and content/image upload (for BAF flipbook/video) opens (BAF registered then invited members only)
  • June 16th: Big Art Fair Insider News 1
  • June 22nd (Wednesday 3pm): Support session 1 (BAF registered members only) on BAF discussions, set-up and more (Zoom link in Insider News)
  • 30th June 2021: Switch social wall hashtag to #BigArtFair during the day
  • July 1st: Registration for the Hitchin Town Hall Preview Night opens via Eventbrite
  • July 2nd: #BigArtFair will become live on our Social Wall 
  • July 7th (Thursday 7pm): Support session 2 (BAF registered members only) on set-up/take-down, Preview Night and more
  • July 9th (Friday 8am): BAF Online entries close to allow time for flipbook/video preparation. Please do not leave it to the last minute. Members who register after this deadline won't be the flipbook, video but can take part in everything else.
  • July 9th: Social media hashtag #BigArtFair, HVAF Instagram event support
  • July 10th: Herts Visual Arts flipbooks, video, uploaded to website, YouTube
  • July 10th: Final registration is closed, exhibition is fully booked
  • Friday 15th July: Artists pay for any options using a payment card at the hall, and set up their own space, with times TBC, to be ready for the Preview Night
  • Friday 15th July 7pm-9pm: Preview Night - everyone welcome £2 on the door (BAF artist+guest FOC)
  • Saturday/Sunday 16th/17th July: Big Art Fair open to the public
  • Sunday 17th July: 4pm Exhibition closes, brief closing address then Artists clear the hall completely by 5.30pm.
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‘More creativity, more fun, more buzz, more laughter in our lives’.

Images

The following images show the Big Art Fair in previous years.

BAF 22 video