Artists Open House Festival – Brighton and Beyond

Graham Robson April 14, 2019

The Artists Open Houses festival 2019, the largest event of its kind in the UK, takes place in Brighton, Hove and beyond over four weekends in May, starting Saturday May 4, 2019.

FREE to visit, the festival will see over 1,500 artists and makers opening the doors to their houses or studios to exhibit and sell their artworks direct to the public.

This year over 180 venues across the city will be open, giving festival goers an exclusive snapshot of how artists live and work. There will be a hugely diverse selection of artworks on show, from original paintings, prints, ceramics and textiles to photography, sculpture, crafts, jewellery and more.

The artist houses are grouped into one of 14 trails around different areas of the city, each with its own unique character and atmosphere – from the beautiful Regency houses in Brunswick to the colourful fishermen’s houses of Hanover to the urban warehouse spaces of the North Laine and cottages of the South Downs villages of Ditchling and Clayton.

This year the brochure cover artist, winner of the 2019 Brochure Cover Artist’s Award, is Brighton based artist and printmaker Hannah Forward. Hannah creates vibrant, colourful prints featuring images of old cassette tapes, vintage cameras, snowboarders and birds. Last year ‘Cassette Tapes’ was selected for the 250th Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, curated by Grayson Perry. She was one of three artists chosen by the BBC to be filmed for their documentary about the RA Summer Show, which lead to the entire edition of Cassette Tapes selling out at the private view.

Hannah Forward will be exhibiting at her Open House at 11 Scott Road, Hove during the festival and also at The Old Market Hove in Hove from April 23 until the end of May.

The work of marginalised artists is an increasingly important strand of the Artists Open Houses festival. For 2019, several recovery centres, mental health centres, drug and alcohol addition centres and homeless centres as well as organisation for artists with leaning disabilities, including Carousel at BMECP, Grace Eyre, Preston Park Recovery, Just Life Creative, St Luke’s Church, Creative Future at Barker and Stonehouse, The Robin Hood Health Foundation at Brighton Health and Wellbeing Centre and Mill View Hospital, will be exhibiting the work of many talented artists, writers, photographers and makers who access their support.

For the first time, the festival will be setting up an artists materials bank at St Luke’s church in Brighton, to recycle artists materials to help excluded artists.

For the second year running, the Artists Open Houses festival will be showcasing the work of emerging artists through a specially curated strand called New Grounds. Curated by filmmaker, director and editor Idil Bozkurt, New Grounds will be showing a programme of events, performances and exhibitions based on the title Fake/Make at The Old Market, Hove. The New Grounds programme takes the aphorism ‘fake it until you make it’ as a start point, exploring the subject of ‘making’ and ‘faking’ through speculation and self-reflection using various art forms; sound performances, multimedia installations and workshops.

Judy Stevens
Judy Stevens

Judy Stevens, Artists Open Houses Festival Director said; “The Artist Open Houses offer audiences the chance to see locally made, seriously good arts and crafts, as well as being an inclusive community event. We welcome artists of all ages and from all areas of the community including a significant number of venues showing the work of artists who may otherwise be potentially excluded from the mainstream art world – those who have experienced periods of homelessness, are in recovery, or have learning disabilities or metal health issues. At the core of our ethos is a belief in the great benefits of art and creativity for all, and in offering opportunities for a new and important engagement between these artists and our audiences.”

The Artists Open Houses festival dates for 2019 are:

♦ May 4 & 5
♦ May 11 & 12
♦ May 18 & 19
♦ May 25 & 26

For a full list of participating venue, click here: