Herts Open Studios annual Call for Artists and Venues will open 1st March for its special 30th Anniversary year. 

Open Studios 2020 runs from Saturday 12th September to Sunday 4th October 2020 – 3 full weeks of art and opportunity that brings artists, artisans and art-lovers together.  Inspiration, discovery and rich opportunity are all to be found with this long-running event that puts art into the heart of our communities across Hertfordshire. It’s a very popular and well-established part of the Hertfordshire annual art calendar. All professional and amateur visual artists, makers and designers who live or work in or near Hertfordshire are invited every year to be part of Herts Open Studios.

2020 is a very special year for us.  Not only are we celebrating 30 years since the first group of Hertfordshire artists got together to welcome visitors to their studios, but this year is also Hertfordshire Year of Culture 2020. With more going on and more reasons to be part of our thriving art community, it’s a great year to be a Herts Visual Arts Forum member and event visitor. We are particularly keen for members from our earliest years to get in touch.   

As a major contributor to the Year of Culture since the very beginning, Herts Visual Arts is delighted that the September Year of Culture theme is centred around our very own Open Studios – Meet the Maker, alongside Heritage and History. What better time to explore our county?

To be part of Open Studios, artists first become Herts Visual Arts members, which itself brings a fantastic range of benefits that include member-only opportunities, networking, events and an on-line gallery.  We always encourage membership sign up as early as possible. It gives the very best opportunities for early networking and venue planning with other artists. Once a member, artists apply to take part in Open Studios: registration this year is open from 1st March – 30th April 2020

Whatever your motivation and wherever you are on your art journey, Open Studios offers a unique chance to grow. From those starting out for the first time in their living room or garage, to established artists with a secure customer base – everyone is different. Being part of Open Studios is a cost-effective way for artists to reach a County-wide audience. It’s an opportunity to show or demonstrate work, talk about techniques and inspirations, listen to visitors and perhaps sell something – either from solo events or our highly popular group options.

This year we have again kept the group price structure that has proved so popular in recent years, encouraging groups of artists working together at a single venue. 

We also encourage personal development and perhaps membership in the future, with established classes/groups able to register for a single entry in our brochure for a class exhibition. Also this year we again welcome enquiries from schools, encouraging them to take part.

Every year there are artists wishing to take part in a shared or other suitable group venue and look forward to hearing from shops, community spaces or other potential hosts. Herts Visual Arts can also help match artists to potential venues. As a host, you’ll benefit not only from being part of Open Studios, but also the extra promotion around the Year of Culture. 

The entry fee covers a full entry in the Open Studios on-line gallery, inclusion in on-line and printed publicity materials, promotional materials and Open Studios signage for your own use. Complementing the special Anniversary Edition of the print brochure, our new web site brings excellent mobile access for visitors on the move, making journeys easier and venues simple to find. Herts Visual Arts also run a publicity campaign in the press and on social media.

“This year we are specifically encouraging original or very early members to get in touch and be part of our celebration, with features in our annual Showcase and Big Art Fair events as well as Open Studios. Alongside this and our regular participants, there is also the buzz around the new artists who join us each year. There really is so much for any visitor to explore, so many conversations and experiences to fill those three full weeks.” said Herts Visual Arts Chair, Hillary Taylor, who continued “I love visiting as many artists as I possibly can during Open Studios, I think my record was about 60 visits on year, 60 warm welcomes and fantastic experiences. Planning routes is also so much easier with our new web site functionality too – truly inspirational days out for anyone. Where will your journey take you?”

www.hvaf.org.uk ‘More creativity, more fun, more buzz, more laughter in our lives’