Open season for Hertfordshire artists

OPEN Studios has come of age and will celebrating its 21st year from next Saturday, September 10, until October 2.

The celebration of the visual arts which is an annual creative showcase of local artists and their work, was set up by and run by Herts Visual Arts (HVA).

During the three-week event, artists across the county open their studios and display a vast array of work ranging from jewellery, oil paintings, water colours and acrylics to pottery, ceramics, sculpture, collage, photography and glass work.

HVA chair Mel Hilbrown said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to see the wealth of creative inspiration spread around the county in one brief period – and it only happens once a year.”

Visitors often have a chance to see the artist at work and get to talk to them about their art and there is no charge for any of the venues, be it a private house to an exhibition.

A total of 18 artists and two schools in Harpenden and District are taking part in Open Studios this year.

They range from Roger Reynold’s detailed botanical paintings to Helen Robinson’s architectural stained glass. In Helen’s studio, visitors will be able to see windows under construction and learn more about the many techniques involved.

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Helen said: “Stained glass is perhaps the most powerful of architectural art forms bathing an interior with veils of ever-changing colour, light and shade. To see it in an exhibition and thus out of context is only to glimpse its myriad possibilities.”

Belinda Naylor-Stables will feature her recent series of paintings of traditionally-useful Kenyan plants alongside her other paintings at her Open Studios with local ceramicist Elspeth Keith at Frog’s Folly Studios. She said: “Open Studios isn’t just about a world of art – it’s about sharing ideas and experiences as well as ways of seeing our whole planet.”

Artscape Arts on the Southdown Industrial Estate is hosting a month-long exhibition from next Monday, September 5, as part of Open Studios.

It will feature the work of Helen Griffin, Teresa Newham, Hillary Taylor and Sue Wookey who, between them, will be exhibiting paintings, drawings, photography, prints and mixed media works.

Also taking part is the Courtyard Caf� in Hatfield Road, St Albans, which will feature work by Clare Cammack, Justine Hydes, Bridget Tompkins, Anna Cloutman, Karole Lange and Sarah Evans.

For more details about Open Studios go to