Artists Open Houses May ’19

This May sees over 1,500 artists and makers exhibiting their work in artists’ homes, other people’s homes and studios – providing a snapshot into the world of the city’s artists. It’s a wonderful event that coincides with The May Festival and the Fringe Festival taking place here in Brighton next month.

The Artist Open Houses offer festival–goers the chance to meet the artists and to view locally made, seriously good arts and crafts. The festival is also an inclusive, community event, embracing artists of all ages, at all stages of their careers, including recent graduates and school and college students. AOH welcomes artists from all areas of the community, especially those who may otherwise be excluded from the mainstream art world and who may have experienced periods of homelessness, are in recovery, have learning disabilities or metal health issues.

Visiting Open Houses offers the chance to chat to the artists and to buy work directly from them. The hugely diverse range of artwork on show includes paintings, prints, photography, sculpture, installation and performance, as well ceramics, textiles, jewellery and work in many other media.

Artists Open Houses (AOH) was set up in 2004 by a small group of Open House artists, acting on the necessity of producing a brochure uniting all the individual trails. The initial idea was simple, but soon expanded to include a website, pr, marketing, distribution and had grown into coordinating a full-blown festival in its own right.
The clear, single brand identity for all the Open Houses has made it simpler for visitors to have a strong image of who they are and how to find AOH venues, resulting in the festival greatly expanding over time accordingly in both size and reputation.

An Artists Open House is usually a home, which is opened to the public to show artwork. There are also a number of workshops and studios and a few small galleries and other art spaces that open. Some houses open one room, while others display work throughout the whole house. Many have artwork in the garden as well. The Artists Open Houses are within the East Sussex 01273 telephone area, extending from Brighton and Hove to Lewes, Ditchling and Newhaven. The venues are mainly grouped together into trails, although some Open Houses are ‘independent venues’, this means they are Open Houses which have not joined a local trail, often because there is no trail in their area. All venues are listed in the AOH brochure and on-line.

The Open Houses festival covers the first four weekends of May – in line with the Brighton Festival and Fringe. However, some venues also open on bank Holiday Mondays and/ or weekdays. Most open between 11am – 6pm, but as times vary, please check the AOH brochure or individual venue’s online listings for details

So you Art & craft lovers all you need to do now is book a weekend stay in one of our lovely rooms here at this May and then you can plan your visit around the 14 individual trails listed in the AOH brochure, or take your pick from the wealth of venues on offer. The Open Houses stretch from Portslade to Kemptown and out to Rottingdean, Newhaven and the South Downs village of Ditchling.
Entry to the houses is free and many Open Houses also offer the opportunity to get involved, providing workshops and events for both adults and children. With homemade tea and cake on offer too, the Artists Open Houses are a very special weekend treat.