New visual arts festival announced for St Albans

Collective Gallery - (L to R) Aisha Adi (Collective Gallery), Anna Aitchison (artist), Ant Steel (artist) and Diane Maclean (artist). Credit: St Albans Visual Arts Festival (SAVAF).

A new immersive art experience is set to launch in St Albans later this month.

Taking place from 29 April to 6 May, St Albans Visual Arts Festival (SAVAF) will bring together the work of local artists such as Dawn Elliott, Antonio Medina and Reena Patel.

The inaugural festival is offering a variety of free events and exhibitions in different locations across the city, where people can engage with art. 

Highlights include an exhibition at St Albans Cathedral, as well as a pop-up event featuring artists from Herts Visual Arts Forum set within the grounds of Vintry Garden. 

At St Albans Museum + Gallery visitors can view work by Jo Eden and Renee Rilexie and take part in an artist talk and workshop. There will also be an opportunity for people to see the outdoor art display.

Trestle Arts Base will host an exhibition in partnership with Herts Young Homeless (hyh) – with 50% of proceeds going to the charity to help fund vital work.

Local school children will also get the chance to participate in an art competition hosted by the charity.

A further solo exhibition exploring the theme of womanhood by artist Marianne Frank will take place at the Collective Gallery & Art Project Space on Holywell Hill.

The week-long festival has been organised by local artist Aisha Adi, who curates exhibitions and supports local creatives in St Albans. 

Aisha said: “I made the decision to organise SAVAF because as a creative I feel it is important to provide opportunities for the community to engage with the arts as well as a platform for local artists to showcase their work. 

“As an artist I understand the value of having support and engaging with fellow creatives. It takes courage to put your work out there in order to build your artistic career. 

“I feel that it’s important for us to appreciate this and support them on their journey.”

Not So Gullible by Antonio Medina. Credit: Antonio Medina.

During the festival a large-scale mural will be installed in Drovers Way by Ant Steel – with the public able to see how the artwork takes shape over the course of the week.

Visitors will have the chance to purchase artwork at St Albans Art Fair in Market Place on 1 May.

In addition, families and children can get involved with workshops at St Albans library throughout the week. 

On the final day of the festival internationally acclaimed sculptor and St Albans’ resident Diane Maclean, will hold a talk at Trestle Arts Base where one of her many sculptures is installed.

Sarah Gillow, a Board Director of St Albans BID which is sponsoring the festival, commented: “We are thrilled to support this fantastic festival which celebrates local St Albans artists.

“SAVAF will not only enhance our city centre – keeping our streets vibrant and adding colour and beauty – but it will make art feel inclusive to all.

“We hope it brings joy to visitors and our St Albans community alike."

More information on St Albans Visual Arts Festival can be found online at:

Instagram: @collectivegalleryart

Facebook: Collectivegallery

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