A peak into the Artist’s Open Houses

Brighton and Hove is a city of art and culture. The month of May in particular offers an eclectic array of art, crafts, theatre, dance, cabaret and more, with countless opportunities to indulge the senses for little to no financial cost.

The Artists’ Open Houses (AOH), unique to Brighton and Hove, celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2011. The idea was inspired by Fiveways Artist, Ned Hoskins who first opened his home to the public in 1982. The twice-yearly AOH festival runs during the Brighton Festival in May and in the run-up to Christmas in December. Judy Stevens, the festival director, told me:

“The ethos of the Artists Open Houses Festival is inclusivity, encouraging participation from artists and makers of all ages, at all stages of their careers, and from all parts of the community, including school and college students.

To give opportunities to marginalised artists, those facing barriers to the art world for any reason, including economically and geographically as well those with as physical and learning disabilities, is very important to us.”

There are many trails throughout different parts of the city – some more well-known than others. I’m particularly excited about the West Hove Trail because Nick and I will be working it and both of our mum’s are exhibiting (come along to 46 Langdale Gardens for sublime cake and pretty darn skippy arts, crafts and silver smithery).

My mum's wonderful art work

Although the West Hove Trail is still in it’s infancy – this will be their fourth year running – they’re going from strength to strength. ‘Encounter’ at 12 Langdale Road won the award for Best Open House in 2013 and last year’s winner was Peanut Butter Tree Arts at 3 Lawrence Road.

The West Hove Trail covers the area from Sackville Road in the east to Boundary Road in the west and from the seafront up to the railway line. These houses will be supporting a range of artists, including painters, bunting makers, print and bag designers, weavers, and many more.

This year, the Artist’s Open Houses festival will run from the 2nd to the 24th May and forms an integral part of the city’s famous annual festival scene. Get involved, or at the very least, shuffle around and have a good old nosey in other people’s abodes.

Art by Lesley Galpin

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