Being a member of Horsham Artists Open Studios (HAOS, just one letter away from CHAOS but more of that later!) is not always an easy ride. Being a group run by committee means all decisions are made as a collective….and not made without numerous meetings and roundabout discussions. We split the jobs required to stage the annual group exhibition and volunteer for those tasks. Now some of those jobs are fairly simple like arranging ads in the papers but artists have taken on jobs way beyond their comfort zone, such as hiring and overseeing the erection of 2 marquees, ensuring they would be suitable for 20 stands. Some tasks, you just know, are going to be controversial like drawing up the floor plan and I would be fearful of the ensuing discussions about “I can’t be located nest to the toilet” or “I seem to have a huge pot plant covering most of my pitch” (people are sooo particular!). The culmination of all our efforts was to be a weekend exhibition at a privately owned manor house followed by a weekend exhibition in each members studio or home. Oh yes, and a swanky private view with invited dignitaries, sponsors and friends.
My favourite part of the private view night was arriving an hour before opening to see the lady owner of 17th century Sedgwick Park House, our glorious venue, on a sit & rode mower creating parking spaces in her meadow dressed in all her finery.
Ultimately all tasks were completed, the work exhibited was extremely professional and a fantastic private view was held to mutual success and acclaim. The small group of artists and craftsmen had pulled it off proving the old adage ” there is no ‘I’ in team”!
(interested in joining in with next year’s CHAOS….contact HAOS at www.horshamartistsopenstudios.co.uk)