Herts Open Studios celebrates the visual arts and its 21st Anniversary!

Come and join the artists in this wonderful artistic celebration.

Herts Visual Arts (HVA) invites you to celebrate their 21st Annual Open Studios: from 10 September to 2 October, a self-guided tour of creative spaces that has taken place every year since 1990. Open Studios is an annual creative showcase of local artists and their art-work, some completed and some as works in progress, you may even visit a studio offering demos and hands on sessions!

During this three week event you will find artists opening their studios right across the county, but here in Watford with its thriving art scene, and with many local artists being HVA members you will be able to visit them in their places of creation, talk to the artists and find out what inspires them!

Watford’s Art College is the place to see the ‘up-and-coming’ artistic talent, showcasing their ‘School of Art & Design’, you will find a diverse range of work created by their very talented students and staff and is certainly worth a visit.

Image by Carol RogersHVA member Carol Rogers’ expertise has not gone unnoticed in her local community with a watercolour purchased by Bushey Museum for their collection of local artists and last year her painting ‘Sudden Snowfall’ a depiction of Watford Museum under snow, was selected by Mayor Dorothy Thornhill in her Christmas Card competition.

Image by Gerry LangtonGerry Langton is a pastel and acrylic artist. His work ranges from landscape, wildlife and still life and his detailed and sensitive technique suits his specialism of portraits of people and pets, almost photographic. Exhibiting along side his wife Jan whose work in acrylics is bold, bright, colourful and impressionistic in style, sometimes with the inventive use of fleece or polyfilla to add an extra dimension. The home of the Langtons’ has become almost a permanent gallery exhibiting their paintings and drawings.

Image by Yvonne FieldYvonne Field specialises in oils, her versatility is evident in her diverse portfolio of landscape, figurative, impressionistic and, also some comic in style and will most certainly bring a smile to your face.

Don’t miss other local artists that are certainly worth paying a visit to such as Christine Long, painter; Anthony Wildig, watercolourist; Ariaan Winter, photographer; Graham Boyd, well known for his work in collage and acrylic painting are combined in the exploration of colour. Also long-term HVA member Dick Onians, will be exhibiting his latest collection of wood, stone and resin sculptures for the house and garden. Taking a little diversion to Sarratt you will find ‘Mudlarks’ – comprising of Tracy Ford’s ceramic works and her paintings and photography together with Pat Peddle who uses hand building, coiling and slab techniques to create large and small works of art, some abstract others just whimsical!

Should you feel like going a little further a field, there will be artists welcoming you into their art space the length and breadth of the county. HVA Chairman Mel Hilbrown comments: “This is a fantastic opportunity to see the wealth of creative inspiration spread around the county. Often you’ll have the chance to see the artist at work and talk to them about their art – an opportunity you seldom have when you visit a gallery. Creating a piece of art-work is often a solitary process, so it’s great for the artists to meet those interested in their art and to talk to them about it. So please enjoy this unique opportunity to visit a wide range of artists working in different styles and materials which will stimulate and excite you.”

Check out the full colour brochure available from libraries, cafes, and tourist information centres or online at www.hvaf.org.uk/Open-Studios/Open-Studios-2011 for full details of opening times, locations and to create your own art trail around the county.

Open Studios is FREE to all visitors to any of the Open Studios exhibitions, whether it be in an artist’s private studio, a village hall or a community gallery and for a “taster” of what is in store at the various locations see the exhibition at the Gallery at Watford Museum (open Thurs-Sat, 10-5) where selected works of local participants will be on show.

For more details on this event and others run by the organisation visit www.hvaf.org.uk

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