UH Arts + Culture (University of Hertfordshire Arts + Culture) brings a rich arts and culture programme to our campus and our local communities. We share the best visual arts, live arts, and music with our university sites and our surrounding communities. Collaborating with artists and performers, we commission and present ambitious and relevant work, informed by research. Reaching across our county, we are committed to strengthening Hertfordshire’s arts and cultural offer with our partners.
Our live arts programme offers an inspirational mix of performance and music. Selecting the best work from performing arts companies and practitioners across the country, we host events at the Weston Auditorium, Art + Design Gallery and pop-ups across our campuses.
We programme inspirational walk-about acts and pop-up performances to animate our campus environment and invite thought-provoking spoken word artists to perform to our students, staff and visitors. We work in partnership with the Music Department and Student Union to collaborate on student-led musical performances to support the talent on campus.
Our visual arts programme on campus offers artists the space to experiment and develop new ideas. Working with emerging and established creatives, we initiate a series of exhibitions, residencies, commissions and pop-ups, informed by research.
Most of our activities are held in the spacious Art + Design Gallery on College Lane campus. The Gallery was constructed in 1998, as part of the University’s School of Creative Arts. It is a large atrium space and also functions as the school’s entrance. With its vast glass-fronted wall and six-metre-high ceilings, the gallery offers 100 metres of hanging space and 200 square metres of floor space, and works particularly well for site-specific installations.
Our exhibitions are enhanced by a dynamic programme of events, including creative workshops, artist talks and film screenings – providing opportunities to develop fresh perspectives and new skills.
Since June 2018, UH Arts + Culture has also been working in partnership with the St Albans Museum + Gallery to contribute to the city’s vibrant visual arts programme. We have curated a number of exciting exhibitions and installations across the varied spaces within the historic Town Hall building – including the largest exhibition of coalmining drawings by Henry Moore, an exhibition of seminal works by Barbara Hepworth and a colourful, site-specific art installation by Liz West.
UH Arts + Culture is proud to manage the University of Hertfordshire Art Collection. The permanent collection is a dispersed collection boasting around 500 artworks across the campuses. Paintings, prints, drawings, photography, sculpture, textiles and ceramics are integrated to enhance the learning environment, to inspire and provoke students, staff and visitors. The Collection includes works by acclaimed artists such as Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth, Andy Goldsworthy and Alan Davie.
A showcase of some of the best works in the Collection is displayed in the dedicated Chapman Gallery, in the Main Building on College Lane campus. The architecture bears witness to the institution’s incredible evolution – for over sixty years this was the gateway into Hatfield Technical College, then Hatfield Polytechnic and now the University of Hertfordshire.
The Art Collection also boasts 14 outdoor sculptures, predominantly displayed on the College Lane campus. We have created a ‘Sculpture Walk’ which features a diverse collection of pieces that chart the evolution of British sculpture since the 1950s.The ‘Sculpture Map’ can be downloaded on our website.
de Havilland Philharmonic Orchestra
We are proud to support our resident orchestra: de Havilland Philharmonic Orchestra. The Orchestra has enjoyed over 50 years of success, giving acclaimed performances of a wide musical repertoire, and engaging renowned soloists. The orchestra brings together over 80 classical musicians under the leadership of their dynamic conductor, Robin Browning.
Every year the orchestra delivers a repertoire of 7 concerts taking our audiences on a journey through some of the best-loved classical masterpieces. And every season, UH Arts + Culture invites the award-winning children’s illustrator and author James Mayhew to take to the stage with de Havilland Philharmonic Orchestra, painting live and storytelling as the orchestra plays. Mayhew performs a meticulously choreographed show in perfect synchronicity with the music – his paintings projected onto a big screen for all to enjoy.
UH Arts + Culture: The Digital Offer
We have created a catalogue of digital and online offer for our audiences to enjoy at your own pace and time. On our website, you can learn more about the artists we have worked with, watch digital walk-throughs of our past exhibitions, listen to online spoken word performances or take a virtual tour of the Sculpture Walk.
The digital offer includes:
- Digital exhibitions
- Digital walk-throughs of physical exhibitions
- Narrated Art Collection + Sculpture Walk videos
- Meet the Artist interviews
- Online artist talks
- Online workshops
- Online spoken word events
Enriching cultural life
Every year UH Arts + Culture delivers cultural and educational experiences across a wide range of genres, enhancing the student experience and enriching the cultural life of staff and the local community across Hertfordshire.
For more information, please visit www.uharts.co.uk and @unihertsarts