Hello! Welcome to Dorset Visual Arts.

Dorset Visual Arts is a not for profit organisation developing and promoting a variety of opportunities for artists, designers and makers across the spectrum of the visual arts to showcase and sell their work.

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Revised Making Dorset Plans 21 December 2016


Up-date + PROPOSAL 

12 December ’16

Dear Makers,

Thank you for registering your interest and applying to take part in Making Dorset ’17.

As you are aware, this is a new venture designed to meet several long-held creative and professional aims. 

Unfortunately, we haven’t reached the necessary number of applicants to run the event as originally conceived.  However, the proposition has clearly generated a great level of enthusiasm for the core idea and the quality of applicants makes us think we shouldn’t give up at the first set-back but work with you to find an alternative way to produce a first event that we can develop in the future. 

With this impetus - but also a fast shortening timeframe - we propose two alternative approaches to Making Dorset and invite you to participate in a discussion and decision about what we do.  The options remain based on a continuing the commitment to selection - substantially self-selection -rather making this an open event like Dorset Art Weeks.  We will continue the effort to find new people and other partnerships. 

Please consider the options give below and let us know which you prefer and whether you still wish to take part.  Please also come to a Making Dorset meeting to help make a final decision and to initiate a network that will support communicating and promoting whatever event is decided.

Making Dorset Meeting

WEDNESDAY 18th January - 6.15pm

Dorset Centre for the Creative Arts - Middle Way - Poundbury - Dorchester.

We are keen to get Making Dorset off the ground but the overriding condition is that the event must, at least, break even.  The options outlined are based on the likely financial income from the take-up of either the 40 or 50 applicants necessary for the respective alternatives.  Also, that selection - based initially on self-selection - remains essential.   Whatever option is chosen it will be refined through discussion.

OPTION 1 - Open Workshops - No Directory Option

Entry fee: £250  min 40 participants

Open Workshops, Making Dorset Map, Simple Website, Fingerpost Signage

Visitors find their way via a special Making Dorset Map.  Also via a simple website which lists Makers - includes image(s), creative statements and business contacts + Finger Post Signage. We cannot afford studio banners on this budget.  Also, an active social Media Campaign and an feature in Evolver.  A separate supplement would push up the costs.

OPTION 2  - Book Publication + Launch/exhibition/event

Entry fee £300.  50 participants essential + the chance to recoup the entry fee

A book produced in the style of Evolver’s successful ‘50 Wessex Artists’, titled ‘50 Dorset Makers’.  This to be produced by Making Dorset in collaboration with Evolver magazine.  The book launch will coincide with a special event.  All contributors to the book will submit work which will be curated to form an installation, not a series of stalls or stands.  All work will be for sale during the event, as will copies of the book.

The event will happen at an exciting and picturesque new installation space near Dorchester.

The 2 or 3 day event will sow the seeds of Making Dorset as an Open Studio event, as originally conceived, in 2019.  The event will take place in early July.  This will give a longer lead in time and become part of Evolver’s 100th edition and programme of celebratory events throughout July and August which will be widely promoted.

A simple website would run alongside this proposition + an active social media campaign.

Each maker will receive a personal stock of 50 copies of the book to either sell or use as promotional material. Each copy sold at £5 would recoup £250. Each copy sold at its £10 cover price would generate an additional £250 profit.  The remaining stock will be sold on line and through Evolver + other sale or return outlets.

Please do come and join the discussion and decision making evening. Please also spread the word to anyone you think might be interested. Please indicate if you are able to attend on the 18th and, if not, please email your thoughts and preferences to Suzy: [email protected]