Project Groups

Interrogating Projects Group

This group runs primarily for semi-professional artists who have either been formally trained or otherwise gained experience of exhibiting and participating in 'solid', well conceived projects with a purpose. The project has a maintained the loyalty of a core group who welcome new members and keep its supportive spirit alive and well. 

The group meets six times a year; generally to:

•   Undertake critical reviews of work in progress and encourage skill swaps and knowledge sharing

•   Introduce and consider different aspects of working as an artist - e.g.:

exhibitions - running workshops - framing - working in series / themes - writing

•   Form an annual collective process based exhibition or other special project - e.g artist’s books

•   Make studio visits

•   Encourage informal collaborations between members of the group with common interests

The Salon

A selected fine art membership group bringing together established and recent graduate fine artists.

Meeting around six times a year, much along the lines of a traditional ‘sketch book club’ to:

  • encourage critical debate
  • share creative knowledge and experiences
  • prompt collaborations.

DVA aims to encourage Dorset’s professional galleries to become familiar and associated with The Salon. DVA are also seeking to extend its visibility beyond Dorset and are open to the idea of occasional collaborations with other like-minded groups.

Applications are invited by CV, accompanying letter and a selection of images – see criteria under Projects on this site. The letter should include reference to why you think this opportunity might be for you and what you think you can bring to the group.

For 2023, the group has set up distinct focus areas based on the following: Curatorial, Drawing, Colour and Inter-disciplinary practice which will not only provide areas for critical investigation and development but also feed into the programme at The Sherborne.

Making Dorset

The Making Dorset Project Group is behind the publication ‘Fifty Dorset Makers’. Produced in partnership with Evolver magazine, the book features 50 of Dorset’s finest designer makers working in ceramics, glass, paper, stone, textiles, wood, minerals and metals, with a foreword by Professor Simon Olding.

At its inception, Making Dorset was open to professionally and, or academically trained designers and makers who have established their practice in Dorset and could demonstrate a track-record in either, or both of, the public and private sectors, including trained or apprenticed emergent designers and makers. The group sought to share ideas and experiences, undertake critivcal reviews to explore the content as well as the processes associated with each individual's practice.  

As Dorset Visual Arts work towards the launch programme for The Sherborne in Spring 2024, DVA will be re-communicating an offer to Dorset Makers and DVA Members for involvement in how craft and design are represented at The Sherborne, and ongoing participation in display, exhibitions and other areas of the visual arts programme at the House.

Development Groups

To provide additional and more relevant opportunities for DVA Members, discussion is underway during Winter 2022 to create sub-groups from the Salon Group, creating new critical peer group discussion and development for Dorset artists. The main areas identified so far are around Curatorial, Drawing, Colour and Inter-Disciplinary practice.

Some of the activity in these groups will lead towards involvement in the proposed programme at The Sherborne, launching in Spring 2024, as well as wider and specific opportunities in the Dorset Visual Arts network.

Emerging Artist Group

The Emerging Artist Group brings together early career artists, some of who have recently graduated from an BA or MA. This new group is open to emergent artists, designers, and makers based in Dorset. While artists of any age can apply, we are looking for artists at the beginning of their professional career who would benefit from a support network of those in a similar position to help further their careers in the visual arts in Dorset. 

This group will focus on bringing together artists to share ideas, knowledge, skills, and critical discourse. Members will attend monthly meetings to discuss work in a critical capacity. These will also be a chance to socialise with other members. As well as the benefits received by all members, the Emerging Artist group will receive the following benefits: 

  • Bi-annual socials to connect and create camaraderie with other Emerging DVA members.
  • E-booklet to showcase members work that will be shared to the DVA website. This will create a directory of emerging artists that other organisations can use to connect with artists.
  • Opportunity to join other DVA member special interest groups, which are currently being established. These will focus on specific interests of artists relating to material or subject matter.
  • Exhibition opportunities including an exhibition at Sherborne House within the first 12 months of it’s opening.
  • Group chat for members to discuss work, chat, and send relevant information in between meetings.



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