About Us

Dorset Visual Arts is a not for profit organisation and registered charity. DVA has a membership of over 300 artists, designers and makers who live and, or practice in Dorset. Some of the Members have national and international reputations. Over Winter 2022 DVA will be developing an increasing number of new opportunities for artists, designers and makers working across the spectrum of the visual arts with announcements to follow throughout 2023.

DVA is about interaction, collaboration and, importantly, creative development. DVA’s activities recognise that artists have different interests and needs in developing their work and careers, yet are so often left to find their way in isolation, particularly in such a vast county. Previous projects work and links with Arts University Bournemouth are testament to a programme of artistic development.

DVA is also involved in other projects focused on professional development, including the Interrogating, Salon and Emergent artist project groups and facilitating connections between artists and arts organisations. For 2023, DVA will be involved in developing a programme of arts exhibitions, community activity and events as Sherborne House opens, creating an exciting and dynamic new opportunity for the Dorset arts community. When possible, DVA develops bursaries for artists to undertake individual research and development as well as providing commissions.

DVA is known for its biennial, flagship event, Dorset Art Weeks, reputedly the largest biennial Open Studios Event in the country. Research data shows DAW benefits the Dorset economy by approx. £2.1M. The trading arm of DVA will continue to run Dorset Art Weeks as a visual arts event open to all artists practising in Dorset, regardless of DVA membership. The next Dorset Art Weeks will run in 2024 and registrations will open in late 2023.

The charity arm of DVA will now focus on the creative and professional development of its artists through its different membership categories (see the Projects section of the website), albeit often working toward group shows that will be exhibited during Dorset Art Weeks, the Sherborne House programme, as well as plans for a brand new ‘interval year’ event from 2025 and other blended activities.  

Please note that the information on this website is being updated over Winter 2022 with more announcements to follow in 2023.




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