Big Makers Fair

These pages refer to our 2021 event

Registration for 2021 is now closed 

You need to be a member and also logged in to the website first though.  

There’s plenty of help in the sidebars (desktop) or at the end of this page (mobile phone). Check out the extra Makers Fair pages and explainer videos (registration, application guidelines, terms and conditions, help and support, event graphics and more) here and in the Members-only pages. When you register, you'll receive a confirmation email with more useful content too.


What is it?

With a focus on Objects of Desire, we're asking you: what will you bring to the table?

Here's the exhibition page: Big Makers Fair

From 1st - 31st March: with 3 live events 19th, 20th, 21st March, #BigMakersFair is your opportunity to get your work in front of a wide Hertfordshire (and beyond) audience, plus the optional extra to develop your skills. Imagine a beautiful large hall, full of tables/displays of gorgeous, individual, high-quality hand-crafted objects ... our inaugural event is now bringing your tables to the public, virtually. Now visualise the work that you'd bring to that table-top event.

Friday 19th March 7.30-9.00pm: Virtual Private View where you can enjoy a relaxed sociable evening. Browse Big Makers Fair tables and displays, talk to artists and other visitors, enjoy our featured Artists in Conversation, hear from our Sponsors.  Book Now to reserve your place at this exciting sociable event. We look forward to meeting you.

Saturday/Sunday 20th/21st March 3-5pm: Join our live-stream artist tours and presentations, experience live-media, video and more on Herts Visual Arts and other social media accounts.

The in-person Big Makers Fair had space to feature just 50 3D and 2D artisan makers and artists. Our virtual, live 2021 event will now be able to showcase more than this. Visitors can expect a wide-ranging, exciting and enticing array of work: textiles, ceramics, jewellery, sculpture, glass, mixed media, paintings, printing, photography and more.

Of course, a bonus of bringing the Big Makers Fair on-line is that it is accessible to a far wider audience who can ‘travel’ and ‘visit’ from the comfort of their own home, at whatever time suits them.

We're taking full advantage of our website and strong social media presence to create this inaugural event. It's a fantastic virtual celebration of our artisan-makers across Hertfordshire as they share their work, creations and gifts - a great experience for our visitors and artists alike. Registration opens early February 2021.

Members: everything you need will be here and in your Account when registration opens. Once registered, you will also receive exclusive Makers Fair support emails. 

Non-members: it's simple to become a member of Herts Visual Arts, then you can be part this event and take advantage of all our other benefits too. What are you waiting for?

Why take part?

You will be part of our fabulous virtual 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 increased website and social media visits/activity, putting you/your work in front of more potential viewers and customers.
  • Increased fellowship and connections: collaborate, support and celebrate. Open Studios and Christmas Showcase feedback clearly shows the benefit of reviewing/presenting art/practice and getting to know fellow artists.
  • Support on your journey, especially Digital Skills: Being part of an exhibition, keeping your Gallery content fresh, video, social media and live events are all stepping stones on our respective journeys, when you are ready.

The main strands:

  • Exhibition (up to 3 pieces): for an example format, view our explainer videos
  • Makers Fair flipbook and video, live social wall
  • 1st-31st March: Month-long targeted promotion and social media presence 
  • 19th March: evening Private View (PV) (remember to invite family, friends, customers)
  • 20th/21st March: Makers Fair Live.

Plus behind the scenes:

  • website extensions to deliver the event
  • weekly Insider Newsletters for registered participants
  • downloadable promotional materials
  • video explainers: how to register/upload content
  • two support sessions: 18/2/21 afternoon, 25/2/21 evening (online content, video, live media and more)
  • one safe practice afternoon 13/3/21: to prepare for PV and Live Stream
  • professional advertising: pre-event Call for Artists plus event promotion throughout March.

All this for just £20.

What do you need to do?

Focus on the Objects of Desire you create, start thinking about what you will bring to the table and how you can describe it.  Do you create Objects of Desire? Are Objects of Desire your subject matter? 

  • 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 up to 3 pieces to the exhibition during the exhibition upload window, before the flipbook/exhibition deadline
  • Join in with our support sessions
  • Throughout March: share content on-line if you can, use the hashtag #BigMakersFair
  • Promote the event, your participation, your work, use our branded graphics (resources)
  • Invite friends, family, customers to the Private View
  • Join in with Makers Fair Live days
  • Keep up to date by opening and reading weekly Makers Fair Insider newsletters.

How do you get on the Social Wall? 

  • Post on your own Twitter or Instagram account using #HertsVisualArts throughout the year, #BigMakersFair during March.
  • 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 exhibition, PV and live-stream events.

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

  • Friday 28th January:  Press Release 
  • Tuesday 9th February: Members Call for Artists plus county-wide call begins
  • Friday 12th February: Registration opens (fee £20) 
  • Wednesday 17th February: Exhibition content submission upload opens (BMF registered members only)
  • Thursday 18th February: Afternoon (time TBC) support session (BMF registered members only) on social media, website content, hashtags and more
  • Monday 22nd February: Second Call for Artists sent to members (not registered for BMF)
  • Thursday 25th February: Evening (time TBC) support session (BMF registered members only) on PV, video, live streaming, reels and more
  • Friday 26th February 8am: Exhibition entries close to allow time for flipbook/video/exhibition preparation. Exhibitions entries must be uploaded/accepted before the deadline and can't be accepted after. Please do not leave it to the last minute. Members who register after this deadline won't be the flipbook, video, exhibition but can take part in everything else.
  • Friday 26th February: Switch social wall hashtag to #BigMakersFair during the day
  • Friday/Saturday 26th/27th February: Herts Visual Arts have created flipbooks, video, upload to website, YouTube
  • Friday/Saturday 26th/27th February: Finalise exhibition page on website
  • Monday 1st March: Event opens on-line, social media hashtag #BigMakersFair, HVAF Instagram event support
  • Monday 1st March: Exhibition listing re-opens

  • Monday 8th March: Registration for Private View opens via Eventbrite

  • Monday 8th March: Registration to take part in Live Weekend (20th 21st March) opens via Eventbrite

  • Friday 12th March: Final registration closes
  • Saturday 13th March 2.30pm: Live-stream safe practice for registered members who want to be in the Live Weekend
  • Friday 19th March 7.30-9.00pm: evening Private View - everyone welcome
  • Saturday/Sunday 20th/21st March 3-5pm: live-stream events 1, 2
  • Wednesday 31st March: Big Makers Fair last day
  • Thursday 1st April: switch social media wall hashtag back to #hertsvisualarts.


Following the continued success of our July Big Art Fair, Herts Visual Arts’ (HVA) first public art event in 2021 is the brand-new Big Makers Fair showcasing Hertfordshire artisan makers. Originally conceived as a vibrant weekend-long in-person affair on Saturday/Sunday 20th/21st March, this Makers Fair is designed to bring a positive focus to artists, their art/skills and the visiting public alike after a year of formal health-related restrictions.

Responding to the ongoing health situation, HVA is now launching their inaugural Big Makers Fair as a month-long virtual art extravaganza celebrating Spring alongside our member artists and their work. Building on last year’s Virtual Open Studios, Christmas Showcase and Winter Exhibition, the Big Makers Fair 2021 will again focus on video, live events and social media.

Throughout March, the Big Makers Fair on this website will now showcase creativity through an exhibition, gallery tour, videos (meet the maker, studio tours, artists at work) flipbook/video and social media live. Participating artists will be using the hashtag #BigMakersFair, collated onto our social media wall. An evening on-line Private View on Friday 19th March will kick off a Makers Fair Live weekend.   Saturday/Sunday 20th/21st March, when Herts Visual Arts will live-stream artist tours and presentations, enabling visitors to experience live-media, video and more on HVA and other social media accounts. 

Artists who want to take part, but are not yet members, can easily join Herts Visual Arts. They can then take full advantage of all member benefits, including networking, exhibiting at events and sharing on-line galleries. Membership for 2021/2022 is now open.

To hear more about our year in art, why not sign up to our newsletter (further down the page)?

‘More creativity, more fun, more buzz, more laughter in our lives’