artists' open houses

Frequently Asked Questions

Can’t find what you are looking for? Then have a look at our FAQs for answers to some common questions.

How do I open my house?

Anyone living within the 01273 telephone code area can open their house as part of the AOH festival. You simply need to register your venue using the registration link on the AOH website during registration periods (ie from mid December to the end of January for the May festival. From mid September to mid October for the Christmas festival.)

Do I need to join a local trail?

It’s not essential to join a trail but you may choose to do so as a trail can provide support and advice to newcomers. You may also receive more visitors, as many visitors like to follow trails, and benefit from extra publicity through eg trail flyers (some trails charge joining fees to help with their trail publicity costs – all trail fees go to trails and not to AOH).
To do this you will need to contact your local trail contact (see contact details below) in advance of registering with AOH, in order to receive your trail code, which you will need during the registration process. If there is no trail in your area, or your local trail is full for this year, you can still take part as an independent venue. You do not need a code if you are registering as an independent venue

Is there a selection proccess?

The Artists Open Houses festival is open to all and there is no selection process. However, some trails do have a ‘probationary’ period before you can be included in their trail. Contact your area’s trail contact for specific details. If you cannot join your local trail, you can always open as an independent venue

Do I have to live in Brighton?

To open your house as part of the Artists Open Houses you have to live within the 01273 telephone code area. You can live outside the area if you are a guest artist in someone else’s house.

Can I open my own house if it is rented?

You do not need to be a house owner to take part in the Artists Open Houses. However, please check that you are not infringing your rental agreeementor or, if living in shared occupancy premises, upsetting any neighbours

Can I take part if I am using a space that is not a house?

Although the majority of venues are houses, some people, eg students or recent college leavers, may not have a suitable venue of their own. It is fine to make use of shops, bars or other commercial premises offered to you. Several institutions, eg schools, day care centres, also take part in the Open Houses festival, as do galleries many of which are artist-run galleries. Some artists prefer to open their studios than their houses and this gives visitors a variety of experiences seeing artists and their work in both their homes and studios.

Do I have to be a professional artist or maker?

No - artists and makers are welcome to take part in the AOH festivals at any stage of their career – even if they are just starting out.

What does it cost?

As a guide, the listing price for the May 2012 festival was £267 per venue (for a single, quarter page brochure listing). This fee is usually divided between all the artists exhibiting in the venue, which means the cost to individual artists is quite small (many houses invite between 8 – 15 guest artists, working in a range of media, to exhibit in their venues). You may also find a local sponsor/s to help you cover this cost.

How do I find other artists to exhibit in my house?

You can find artists working in a broad range of media by going to the Artists Seeking Houses section of the AOH website: www.aoh.org.uk/showcase-your-work

Do I need to take out insurance?

All Open Houses must take out public liability insurance to protect you in case of accidents to visitors while in your house. You can do this for a very reasonable fee via AN Air artists insurance: www.a-n.co.uk/air
We strongly recommend that you don’t do this via your own home insurance as this can cost you a lot of money

What do I get for my money?

A single listing in the AOH brochure gives you: a single image, a listing for all your exhibiting artists, details of opening times, facilities you may care to offer visitors and a map of your area marking the location of your house.
In May 2012, 50,000 AOH brochures were printed and 60,000 map-leaflets. The map-leaflet is also reproduced as an insert in Latest Homes magazine. The distribution area covers Brighton and Hove and surrounding region, Central London (including major galleries), South London Orbital, Kent and Sussex,
Your listings fee also provides duplication of all brochure information on the AOH web site. The web site includes an artist and medium search facility allowing visitors to find individual artists or media. The web site has a year–round presence.
You also have a dedicated AOH committee that works to promote and market Artists Open Houses through all forms of media throughout the year. This includes a pr and media campaign including interviews and articles with national as well as local print media, radio interviews, TV and film. You will also receive invitations to the AOH launch event.
For a full list of the benefits you get when taking part in AOH festivals, please see: www.aoh.org.uk/benefits

AOH Guide to Opening Your House

If you would like to read a fully comprehensive manual covering all areas and issues you might encounter when opening your house for the first time, please have a look at the AOH Guide to Opening Your House: http://www.aoh.org.uk/AOH-guide-2013

Trail contact details

Please see the contact page for detail of Trail contacts.

(NB. Trails operate during the May Festival only.)