AVA is an artist-led, voluntary organisation, which aims to promote
Members open their studios to the public, hold workshops and work in schools on art projects. AVA seeks to assist, encourage and support associate members to become professional in their practice. AVA group exhibitions have been held recently in Ashford, Whitstable and Folkestone. To join, please visit the Applying to AVA contact page.
How AVA was formed
A mystery message went out in 1998 to all professional artists in the Borough of Ashford to meet at the Julie Rose Stadium. Were we for the slaughter? We had no idea, but a few dozen artists and three gallery owners turned up. We were hosted by Arts Development Officer Christina Fuller, who wanted to gauge the support for an Art Centre in Ashford. Out of the excitement and buzz of that first meeting, Ashford Visual Artists (AVA) was formed, and became a constituted body with fee-paying, professional members including graphic designers, a silversmith, metal workers, painters, photographers, printers, sculptors, textile - video - and installation artists, a furniture designer maker, and more.
AVA is now an active part of Ashford life, with members working in the community, and in schools on such projects as the Queens Jubilee, the annual Carnival, and the Big Draw. There have been artists in residence in the town centre, studios open to the public, exhibitions and much else.
AVA members Chris and Vikky Furse
Ashford Visual Artists meet 4 times throughout the year to discuss ideas and projects that are taking place and opportunities that members offer to the AVA as group projects.