Herts Open Studios 2020 – Your Virtual Windows to the World of Art
As part of our 30th celebrations, #HertsOpenStudios is going virtual this year. Not only that, but we have new dates, from 1st-30th September. Initial reviews (essential as a response to Corona Virus) made it clear that revising our dates and moving online was the right thing to do for so many reasons.
So, for thirty days, with thirty themes, we’re inviting the whole of Hertfordshire (and beyond) to join us for our amazing virtual celebration of the visual arts. We’re bringing artists, artisans and art-lovers together in ways not seen before. A whole month of inspiration, discovery and rich opportunity, will bring art into the heart of our communities across Hertfordshire. Established almost 30 years ago, Herts Open Studios is already a popular and well-established part of the Hertfordshire annual art calendar – we’re taking it into the future.
With no physical restrictions on venues, opening times, holidays, school dates or having to travel to a schedule, our artists are presenting a highly visual online cornucopia of experiences for our visitors. Our members are professional and amateur visual artists, makers and designers who this year will share their work, studios, workshops and exhibitions via a full and exciting range of online offerings, supported by deep and flexible online search capabilities.
From discussions about tools and materials, through watching work being created to gallery views and personal introductions, visual artists Hertfordshire are sharing insights and opening up working spaces, studios, exhibitions and events to the public. From solo artists through collaborations to community projects, there’s something for everyone. Each artist gallery that features in our ground-breaking virtual event is an opportunity for our virtual visitors experience diverse in-progress or finished work, to meet artists and talk about their craft and creative process.
Our visitors can access open studios on phones, tablets, computers or other internet-connected devices, including TVs. Each day of our festival is also tied in with Hertfordshire Year of Culture’s #MeetTheMaker theme – based around Herts open Studios.
Powerful, simple and effective searches allow our visitors to explore their own personal trails via art media, theme and other personal searches. A special section includes live information, featuring up to the minute news from around the county, collated from Social media. Would you like a personal virtual appointment with one of the Open Studios Artists? Just get in touch via their gallery page to arrange an appointment. Want to see working studios? There will be plenty of video studio tours to browse. Want to find out more about an artist? Again, biographies and meet-the-artist videos are a simple and informative way to start.
With thirty years of Open Studios behind us, it’s also a good time to take stock at how things have changed from those early beginnings. At the first Open Studios, a small group of artists got together to encourage people to physically look at their work, to walk around their studios. Over more recent years, increasing access to mobile communications has taken Herts Visual Arts from paper-based to having a web site, from relying on a printed brochure to supplementing the brochure with online maps, searches and SatNav. This year we are leaving printed materials and SatNav firmly behind us and embarking on a multi-dimensional virtual adventure. Art Trails without the need to trawl through traffic. Experiences and adventure that can be summoned up in seconds.
What started as something that needed to be considered because of the health situation has turned into a golden opportunity to embrace the future and bring more art to more people.
What can the online visitor see?
From jewellery through functional and decorative items to larger statement and outdoor pieces. Some of our artists are just starting their journey, some are internationally renowned. Perhaps you want to focus on people and artforms you know or like. Another option is to plot a trail to from our themes. Artists will also be posting about our themes daily, so it is entirely possible to have a new open-ended adventure every day as we see what is happening online via web sites and a range of social media platforms.
Of course, there is no charge for virtual visits. We truly expect our virtual visitors to see work that they love and perhaps want to purchase – it’s simply a case of getting in contact with that artist to arrange a safe transaction. Purchasing art direct from an artist is always special. From greetings cards, though prints to original statement pieces, there’s bound to be something for every pocket and taste. There’s also something unique and special in understanding the story behind or in a piece of art that you later take home to enjoy. In these difficult times, it’s also very rewarding to meet the person who has created that work – a special kind of Shop-Local experience.
“This years’ signature image will be release in the second half of July” said Herts Visual Arts Chair, Hillary Taylor, who continued “In the past, I have set myself a target to physically visit as many Open Studios venues as possible. This year, without the ‘hours in a day’ constraint, I’m very much looking forward to visiting every artist at least once. It’s going to be a very special 30 days, and I look forward to wherever the journey takes me.”
It’s Free: Art adventures on whatever devices you use to browse the internet are waiting for you. Videos, live events, meetings and conversations, there will be so much to experience.
Optimised for mobile, our website an amazing way for you to navigate by artist, artform, theme and more. You can join the social media story with #HertsOpenStudios #MeetTheMaker too.
Check our website: Our most accurate information is on-line, perhaps with special events, local art trails, up-to-date news and more.
As venue restrictions ease, we also foresee a number of galleries and shops (retail) taking part in our event – these will continue to display our well-known yellow bunting, direction arrows and banners outside venues. They are like a friend to welcome you at the gate, saying come on in.
Press Launch 10th July 2020. Members Launch Party 13th July, Registration opens 14th July and closes 16th August 2020. On-line information for visitors will grow as artists register to take part.
Look out for some special in-person Open Studios events and 30th anniversary celebrations to be announced in July and August.
1st-30th September 2020 Herts Open Studios goes virtual, 30 days, 30 themes, celebrating 30 years.
Signature images and information on artists taking part will be available from Friday 17th, once artists have begun registering.
www.hvaf.org.uk ‘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 concessions available). *Registration for Open Studios is not included in the cost of membership.
Benefits of annual membership include a gallery on the HVA web site, 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. 2020 has seen significant additional member benefits added to our web site, including our virtual Open Studios.
Non-members can sign up for our newsletter.
*Registration for Open Studios is not included in membership, and full membership must be taken out to take part in Open Studios.
13th-14th July: Herts Visual Arts Big Art Fair. Postponed to mid July 2021
1st-30th September: Virtual 2020 Herts Open Studios
Herts Open Studios is Herts Visual Arts annual flagship event, when artists open their doors to visitors. Details of participating artists will be available on line and in print from late July 2020,
The easiest way to join HVA is online: www.hvaf.org.uk
Twitter: @HVAF #HertsOpenStudios Instagram @HertsVisualArts
Press Release by Hillary Taylor firstname.lastname@example.org
Press contacts are:
For marketing email email@example.com