Visual Art Network - Open for Art  

The Visual Art Network (VAN) Charity 1087383 is run by our volunteer members.

Promote your work, exhibitions, workshops and events here to a wider audience. We are a growing network of ambitious, enthusiastic and creative people all with an interest in visual arts. 

What's On?

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Shropshire Hills...

4 Jun 2016 - 12 Jun 2016

Bank House, 4 High St, Bishops Castle SY9 5BQ is again open during Shropshire Hills Art Week 2016 and host to several different artists working in diverse media. Details of artists at Bank House, other venues... Read more

Food Glorious Food

7 Jun 2016 - 2 Jul 2016

VAN Gallery,  Market Hall Shrewsbury, Open Exhibition on the theme of Food. Read more

The Big Arts Show

1 Jul 2016 - 3 Jul 2016

West Midlands Showground Shrewsbury, is once again the venue for The Big Arts Show, 3 days of art, entertainment, demonstrations and classes. Read more

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Featured Artist

Sheila Walthew 

For many years I have worked privately as a Fine Art Conservator ... I'm a picture restorer ..and plenty of times I've been asked "what is art, and what's it for?"

It's a fair question, and as I've studied fine art formally during a Foundation Course in Art and Design, a first degree in Fine Art (printmaking) and a Masters Degree in Fine Art Conservation, I guess I've thought about it quite deeply.

I think art (well that could be anything) I think Fine Art (painting, sculpture and photography ... oh and installations and conceptual art and land art ... ) ... and more widely, Creativity ... is communication. It's simple, that's what art (anything, making a model of Tracey's Island) is all about. We want to tell each other things in a way that doesn't include words, some people use dance (is it art? it wasn't on my Foundation Course) or jewellery (that was), or dresses (yes, frocks too), and we're all communicating something.

What it is we're saying is Another Question. Some people know what they want to say, and the people they're saying it to hear the message clearly and understand, other times it's more complicated. Sometimes we don't know what it is we're saying, only that we must do what we're doing (Close Encounters?) ... sometimes, it isn't clear what we're saying til we've made something and it speaks on its own, and it tells us about ourselves ... now that's really interesting. I paint the landscape in Shropshire, I'm aware that I'm saying that I think it's beautiful, that it's alive and has a character of its own, that it's character is dependent of our own human character, though we might manage the land and manipulate it for our own ends. Maybe I watched too many Eastern European Fairy Tales on TV when I was little. So what happens when you stand in front of a piece of art? It's the aesthetic response ... is it what the artist intended? Did the artist need to tell you in a short essay beside the artwork what it is they're trying to communicate and what it is you're meant to be feeling? Often the message is clear, as in narrative paintings of centuries ago, and sometimes it's simple ... "this is beautiful" ... "she is beautiful" ... "this happened to me" ... "war is hell" ... sometimes it's more complicated, and our response, like the original message, can't be put into words ... cubist paintings ... what do you think? Simply put, art is anything an artist makes. What an artist makes is art, and as we all have something different to say, this seems to account for all the different things, good, bad and indifferent, that comes under the heading of "art". So what do you have on your walls? Original works of art can be bought at very little cost, and what William Morris (Arts and Crafts Movement) said is a good guide "have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful" and beauty, as we know, is in the eye of the beholder.


Sheila the Corsetier too. See Profile
Pauline Furnival

Born in Manchester, Pauline has recently returned to the UK after spending many years in Portugal and Brasil, where she had successfully exhibited her work. She currently lives in North Shropshire.   Many of her paintings are abstract and  inspired by natural rock, granites and marble.  She has recently experimented with high gloss resin finishes, that add an appealing reflective quality.

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Feature

A very successful free workshop facilitated by Write Here, High Street, Shrewsbury, was held recently featuring  Pip Seymour Fine Art Products.  Local artists attending the event were given the oppportunity to experiment with a variety of media including a  delve into the world of Ancient Drawing Materials with rocks, minerals, chalks and natural clays from around the world.  The liquid inks had an equally fascinating set of ingredients including Adriatic Cuttlefish, Birch and Beech soot, Oak Galls to name but a few. The workshop was enjoyably informative and explored in detail how materials for artistic expression are traditionally made.  A creative treat for art lovers.

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