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Brighton Open Houses – Everything you need to know

Are you new to the artists open houses festival and don’t know where to start?

Or perhaps you’d like to get the most out of this year’s festival? I’m a local Landscape photographer that went from enjoying the May open houses to opening my own! I show Brighton photography with plenty of Sussex prints from landscapes to seascapes, alongside art from from handpicked local artists!

Here’s a head start on the open houses with a short read…

What is an open house?

An artist’s open house is a home, or sometimes a studio, opened by artists and makers for the public to view their artwork. It’s an excellent opportunity to discover, buy artwork and meet the artists  across Brighton and Hove

Artists open houses came about when local artists rebelled against expensive art gallery representation, displaying their art directly to the public from their own homes.

Artists later joined forces and created an artist’s open houses trail, making it easy and enjoyable for art lovers to explore many artists works by visiting homes close to each other.

Now it’s a great way for local artists to exhibit their work, whether it’s their debut or they’re a seasoned veteran. Being welcomed into an open house is a unique experience that offers a relaxed and friendly way to enjoy art. Many homes offer tea and cake to enjoy in a quaint courtyard garden or indoor space surrounded by art!

‘Aymer Actually’ Artists Open House – on the West Hove Arts Trail

Where are the open houses?

The Brighton and hove open houses are spread across the city and helpfully sorted into trails.

The brochure includes a map – so pick one up for free from an open house or look online at the AOH website

Many visitors choose to visit one or two trails in a single outing. Some even make it a mission to squeeze in house visits every weekend – completing all art trails over the 4 weekends! There are usually over 120 open houses in May, so be warned!!

Open House arts trails From West to East:

  1. West Hove Arts Trail
  2. Hove Arts Trail
  3. Brunswick Town
  4. Central
  5. Dyke Road Arts
  6. Seven Dials Artists
  7. Beyond the Level
  8. Hanover Arts Trail
  9. Fiveways Artists
  10. Kemptown
  11. Coastal (Rottingdean, Saltdean, Peacehaven area)
  12. Ditchling (20 mins drive from Brighton)
  13. Independent – artists dotted around that are not associated with an art trail.

Looking for a particular open house? AOH Houses
Looking for a particular artist? AOH Artists

When are the Open houses, Well, open?

There are 2 artists open house festivals in Brighton covering early summer and another at Christmas.

The Summer open houses sit alongside the Brighton festival and runs across all weekends in May. with some venues also opening during the bank holiday(s)

Christmas artist open houses are over 3 weekends, usually starting late November into mid-December. 

The time each house opens varies with most houses covering the core hours of 11 am – 5 pm, and some open earlier and closer later. Check first if there’s a house you particularly want to visit – in case they’re closed or open limited hours

Is art available to buy?

Yes, the items on display are available to buy. Everyone’s welcome whether just appreciating the art, or looking to buy something in particular 

Are open houses free to enter?

Yes, it is entirely free to visit an open house (including the small number of studios and galleries). Free days out don’t come much better than this!

Do something cultured (and free!!) during the Brighton Festival – visit the Brighton and Hove open houses.
You’ll be surprised how much you enjoy yourself.

If you love this great city, why not take a look at our Brighton photography prints?

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