An exciting new art space has opened in Hemel Hempstead s town centre.
Dacorum Creatives Art Hub reopened today (Friday) - after having a complete makeover - as a community art hub and will remain open until Sunday, August 1. It will then reopen again in September for Herts Visual Arts Open Studios 2021.
The space has been set up and curated by local artist and mindfulness coach, Anna Schofield.
The idea behind the Dacorum Creatives Art Hub it is to provide a welcoming space for local people to enjoy, discover and explore the arts.
Many of the visitors who have come into the space before it’s makeover have said time and again how good they feel after spending time enjoying the artwork at the gallery.
Anna, who is passionate about social prescribing and promoting the healing benefits of art, which has been shown to reduce stress and calm the mind, realised that people really needed a space like this to come and recover from the difficult year we have all just experienced.
She said: "The unit was given to us as part of Herts year of culture 2020 HYOC2020.
"We only ever planned to be there for a few month but it was so successful and popular with local people visiting the Marlowes that I wanted to look for a way to keep the gallery open while giving back to the local community.
"I had always wanted to run workshops in the space but unfortunately Covid made that impossible until now.
"I have worked alongside Annie Smith at Dacorum Borough Council to involve other community groups and she is keen to support this project and keep it open for as long as we can.
"The Manager and staff at the Marlowes have also been incredibly supportive and generous in providing the space and enabling us to offer something quite unique and much needed in Hemel Hempstead.
"This space is for the local community, for you. Everyone is very welcome and we look forward to meeting you soon."
Anna looked at ways to keep the space open and has made a number of innovative changes. There are new artists showing a wide range of art genres from abstract, impressionist, sculpture, ceramics jewellery and photography – something for everyone.
Anna, also a keen furniture upcycler, has brought in some chairs and stools so that visitors can sit and spend time just looking at and enjoying the glorious array of colour and pattern on the walls!
The space is run entirely by the artists so when you come in you can talk to the artists about their work and what inspires them.
They can also give you tips if you have taken up an art or craft pastime to support your wellbeing during lockdown.
Another change is that there is now one wall dedicated to community arts projects which will be changing regularly to showcase local talent.
The first display will be showing some of BEEE Creative's dance projects. BEEE Creative offers dance education and project management, connecting people with arts opportunities and have manages some fun, creative projects locally during lockdown. They will be there between Friday, June 11, and Tuesday, June 29.
After this there will be a display of poetry by local people around the theme 'Life and Local Places'. If you would like to submit a poem for consideration please email Anna at [email protected].
Now that lockdown restrictions have eased some of the artists showing at the gallery will also be offering regular art and wellbeing workshops throughout the summer. Workshops include macramé, wire jewellery, zentangle, watercolour, origami, collage and vision boards.
There will also be a meditation day in June and during August there will be family yoga and yoga Nedra sessions available.
The vision for this space has always been to involve and encourage local people in the arts and to create a space where people can relax, enjoy and discover art and enjoy the health benefits of creativity, connection and learning.
The Dacorum Creatives Art Hub is located in the Marlowes shopping centre, just opposite the Entertainer toy shop.
Opening times are Friday and Saturday 10.30am till 4.30pm and and Sunday 11am till 4pm, they will also be open Tuesdays and Thursdays for workshops.