10 Artist Open Houses to Visit, May 2017

It took me a long time to get around to trying Artists Open Houses – while it’s easy to miss in the busy May festival season, the real reason was I was a bit intimidated by them. 

This was because of: A. The fact I’d be going into random strangers’ homes, B. I may have to talk to them (I always go to the self-service checkout), and C. Despite getting an A in art at GCSE – don’t all applaud at once – I can feel pretty out of my depth when it comes to art.

Of course, my fear when I finally did venture out was completely unfounded. What AOH actually is, is a way to come face-to-face with Brighton’s creative community, who are more interested in talking about their practice than quizzing me on my knowledge of Rembrandt’s paintings. It’s also a chance to buy art and crafts directly from the source, meaning you can own some beautiful, unique things.

In order to encourage you to get out there and visit some houses, here’s ten of the ones I’m most looking forward to visiting this year. Pick up a bus pass (best way to avoid some of those hills), work up an appetite (seriously, so much cake on offer) and join me.

Black and Minority Ethnic Community Partnership

10a Fleet Street, Brighton, BN1 4ZE – Beyond the Level trail
Opening up for the first time to display works from the local BME, refugee and asylum seeker communities in Brighton. Lester McCollin Springer’s vibrant paintings are what I’m looking forward to the most.

The Stanley Road Store 

25 Stanley Road, Brighton, BN1 4NJ – Beyond the Level trail
A huge mix of artists working across a variety of different mediums, ranging from the quirky to items that have the feel of a Victorian museum of curiosities. In a good way. 

Colour Laine

19 Queen's Gardens North Laine Brighton BN1 4AR – Central trail
A beautiful house on the outside with lots of beautiful things on the inside. Zoe Murphy’s gorgeous screen-printed furniture will give you spend-that-overdraft pangs in particular.

Milton House

281 Dyke Road Hove BN3 6PD – Dyke Road trail
Probably one of the best-known and loved Open Houses (it’s been on the “Best Open House” longlist for the last five years in a row), the quality of work here is very high. Also, there’s a cat. No brainer.

11 Rugby Road

11 Rugby Road Brighton BN1 6EB – Fiveways trail
Probably my favourite house last year – a beautifully set up home, run by friendly people with plenty of things you want to buy at affordable prices. I’ve worn the necklace I bought there constantly.

TheBigForest Emporium

56 Chester Terrace Brighton BN1 6GB – Fiveways trail
I’m always a fan of art with a sense of humour, and if everything else in TheBigForest is like Mr Craven’s Brighton Men paper dolls, this should be a really fun house.

The Flamingo House

14a Wilbury Road Hove BN3 3JN – Hove trail
A house without a particular theme, just an eclectic mix of great artists with interesting work. Worth the visit alone for the “exotic garden café” they have out back – last year you could channel your inner queen of hearts and play croquet.  

Art at No. 51

51 Montefiore Road Hove BN3 6EP – Seven Dials trail
Support a Brighton Girl – pop in to see Rachel Lemon’s hand-thrown ceramics and graphic drawings, as well as photography, digital art, paintings and jewellery from the other artists.

Art & Indian Tapas

17 Worcester Villas Hove BN3 5TA – West Hove trail
I’ll admit the phrase “range of Goan tapas delights” was the first thing that caught my eye here, but Indian treats aside there’s interesting photography to see, especially Gill Copeland’s series of daily photos, taken over two years.


12 Langdale Road Hove BN3 4HN – West Hove trail
One of last year’s most interesting houses, which asked artists to respond to a certain theme rather than just getting a bunch of great artists together. The result is a series of installations that feel cohesive – one for gallery lovers.

Find more Artist Open Houses to visit here.

Written by Cara.