Around 30 artists and Trustees gathered in the University of Hertfordshire architecture studio for our annual development day. The day was focused around Fellow’s showcasing their recent work, an update on the work of the Trust and a look forward to participation in Hertfordshire Year of Culture 2020. As usual it was a chance for the DAT community to come together over coffees and sandwiches. A brief review of the year by the Chair, pointed up the productive partnerships with Letchworth Heritage Foundation and Welwyn, and alongside the life of the studios, the provision of public engagement including courses which supported art in the larger communities. The DAT Management Group was meeting regularly to deal with short term matters alongside the more targeted work of the Board itself. The coming year would see more work on the visibility of DAT with an intention to increase the number of people coming to Open Studios for example. A brief overview of the education activities in Letchworth was presented.
Reflecting the excitement of Fellows’ professional work over the previous year there were presentations given full of hints and tips for others – hoping that these will be put on the website shortly. Allistair Covell mapped out the challenges of a complex commission for The London Design Fair from colour consultancy studio Calzada Fox working with Craig and Rose paintings on ‘colour memory’ and how he was able to meet demanding constraints stemming from tight deadlines, practical issues and processes around approval resulting in a highly successful piece of work. Dave Nelson gave a brilliant analysis of the various art fairs and the benefits to artists of participation which included intensive feedback on the art as well as numerous interactions with potential buyers. Juliana Loveday discussed how she had combined her knowledge of the needs of interior designers, styling and successful sales of her prints, without compromising her work and Ruta Bartkeviciute outlined the processes of winning the Liberty’s Open Call awards. The day rounded off with a talk from the Curator Inna Allen and a walkaround the University art collection being shown in a new hang, in the refurbished gallery with the intention to maximize the relationship with DAT in the future. A quick review of the follow up work was made at the end of the day.
An intensive and very productive day was had by all! Thank you to all the partipants.