About Us

Dorset Visual Arts is a not for profit organisation and registered charity. DVA has a membership of some 300 artists designers and makers who live and, or practice in Dorset. Some of the Members have national and international reputations. We are currently developing an increasing number of opportunities for artists’ designers and makers working across the spectrum of the visual arts.

We believe DVA should be about activity, interaction, collaboration and, importantly, creative development. Our activities recognise that artists have widely 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.

DVA is also involved in other projects and schemes focused on professional development and greater interaction and collaboration between artists and arts organisations. Our Interrogating Projects and links with Arts University Bournemouth are testament to this. We currently present an annual DVA prize to AUB graduates. When possible we develop bursaries for artists to undertake individual research and development.

DVA has previously been 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 DAW as an Open Studios event open to all artists practising in Dorset, regardless of DVA membership. The charity arm of DVA will now focus on the creative and professional development of its artists through it's different membership catergories (see the Projects section of the website), albeit often working toward group shows that will be exhibited during DAW and offering a discount to it’s members. You can still contact DVA for information on DAW participation.

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