Hundreds of artists join The Artists Open Houses Festival 2021

More than a thousand artists across Brighton and Hove are getting ready for The Artists Open Houses Festival 2021.

The nature house, Fiveways, Ellie Hipkin
The nature house, Fiveways, Ellie Hipkin

The Artists Open Houses Festival, the largest event of its kind in the UK, will take place across Brighton, Hove and villages beyond over five weekends, starting on the Bank Holiday weekend of May 29 and running through to June 27.

The Artists Open Houses festival dates for 2021 are: May 29 and 30, June 5 and 6, June 12 and 13, June 19 and 20, June 26 and 27. Full listings can be found at

Judy Stevens, festival director, said: “The Artists Open Houses gives festival-goers an exclusive snapshot of how artists live and work.

“There is a hugely diverse selection of artworks on show, from original paintings, prints, ceramics and textiles to photography, sculpture, crafts, jewellery and more.

“The houses are grouped into one of 14 trails around different areas of the city and beyond, 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 village of Ditchling.

“In our new June slot, alongside Brighton Fringe, the Artists Open Houses will be a central part of the cultural recovery for our city.

“Following on from the May Brighton Festival, the AOH Festival will offer the first glimpse of brilliant new work from artists and makers emerging from the months of lockdown,” Judy added.

“Brighton-based artist Becky Blair is the artist chosen to create a piece of artwork for the 2021 AOH brochure cover and winner of the AOH Brochure Cover Artist’s Award. Her lively and eclectic style, combined with her vivid use of colour and dream-like reflections, has seen her highly-sought-after work sold through exhibitions and private commissions internationally.

“Her latest paintings are derived from her sketches from the Sussex coast, collages of rememberings, expressing the joy of living. From her own experience of darker times (Becky had to give up painting for 12 months after being diagnosed with Lupus), she feels that as an artist it is her desire to share joy.”

Becky will be exhibiting at 66 Brading Road, Brighton, BN2 3PD. Instragram @beckyblairartist

Some of the festival highlights for 2021 include:

Milton House- Winner Best Open House 2020 – Beyond the Level. An eclectic line up of over 14 artists of varying media curated by illustrator Sarah Jones, including prints, jewellery, lighting, and more. Sarah Jones was recently commissioned by Royal Mail to design a stamp featured on their recently published series celebrating classic science fiction novels by British writers. Sarah’s stamp was an illustration of Shikasta by Doris Lessing.

Robertson Yard Studios. Built on the site of a derelict Victorian Soft Water Laundry, Robertson Yard studios is home to 15 arts and crafts practitioners including ceramics, glass blowing, painting, violin making, jewellery, lapidary, metalwork and more. Artists include nationally renowned artist metalworker Jon Mills ( who has a 3 yearlong exhibition of his children’s book works – the metal characters and props that are used to illustrate the stories, going on show at Ironbridge Museum in May. Other artists include painter Katie Brookes, illustrator Marine Gentils (clients include Tru Thoughts and the NY Times) and jewellery maker Vivienne Ridley, whose work incorporates carefully selected antique and vintage finds.Robertson Yard, 42a Robertson Road, Brighton BN1 5NG

66 Brading Road (Becky Blair): - Hanover Trail - New House for 2021. Becky is a highly prolific artist, whose professional career as a fine artist started in 1993. Her vibrant and joyful paintings are exhibited and collected worldwide. This past year has seen her work with a local potter Rachel Mary Entwistle and Australian fashion house Gorman, taking her vibrant style in to handmade homeware and beautiful garments. You may have seen her collaboration in 2018 with Habitat, when they relaunched the Brighton flagship store. The Habitat design team transformed her pastel drawing into a giant hand tufted and carved wool rug. Working out of her studio at Phoenix Art Space, Becky creates work for galleries throughout the UK and art fairs in London and Europe; she has had seven sell out solo shows over the past 10 years with galleries in Australia as well as being commissioned by private collectors worldwide. 66 Brading Road, Hanover, Brighton, BN2 3PD.

Faye Bridgewater - Kemptown Trail. International, multi award-winning contemporary artist Faye Bridgewater will be opening for one weekend with the exciting launch of her new expressive Summer Collection, featuring her latest original paintings alongside her brand new Limited Edition prints. 2021 started off with a bang for Faye with a sell-out exhibition, Ritual and Repetitions, at Glyndebourne’s Gallery 94. She has also been featured in Artist & Illustrator magazine, Coast magazine, Sky Arts, BBC South East and BBC Radio Sussex.

10 Dawson Terrace, BN2 0EL

Art at 21. 7 Dials Trail. Sat 19 and Sunday 20. Returning for a second year for one weekend only, this strong group of artists will be showing together in a pop up venue in Hove. Paintings by Kate Scott (whose work was recently featured on in ITV’s Grace), Nick Gardner, Kate Strachan, Gary Goodman, photography by Milena Deparis and missed media Jo Delafons. 1 Rigden Road, Hove, BN36NP

Open Studio at The Cowshed: New for 2021. Take a trip out to the beautiful Sussex countryside and join Jane Johannsen for her first open studio event at The Cowshed. Jane’s semi-abstract, colourful horse paintings and horse prints, plus a chance to see work in progress and a glimpse her process. Joined by jeweller and storyteller extraordinaire Julian Warrender and figurative painter Tina Balmer with her beautiful flower and dog paintings. The Cowshed, Upper Wellingham Barn, Wellingham Lane, Lewes BN8 5SN

Glyndebourne – Saturday 19 June. An online ‘In Conversation’ between artist Tom Hammick and Glyndebourne art curator Nerissa Taysom. The talk will take place at 3 pm on 19 June. There will also online exhibition on June 19th titled Forces of Nature, which will be Glyndebourne’s first all-women art show.

East Side Print: New. East Side Print is a new and exciting venue to AOH. They are community interest company promoting the love of screen printing, fabric printing and photography through courses from a studio in Kemptown. See demonstrations of techniques, book a have- a go workshop, browse unique screenprints, t-shirts, cards and photographs for sale.

The Box House: New House – Dyke Road Trail – New for 2021. A striking modern house with the yellow front door displaying work spanning painting, sculpture, reliefs and printmaking. The house features work of abstract artist John Goodison whose textured colourfield paintings, monochrome reliefs and sculpture have been exhibited in several London galleries, notably a special exhibition at Paul Smith Interiors, Albemarle Street in 2019.

His painting featured in an article on a Sydney apartment designed by Jonathan Adler which appeared in Vogue Interiors Australia (Oct 2014). Anna Harvey has had a successful career as a painter, printmaker, teacher and mentor. They will be exhibiting alongside abstract artist Damian Toal, artist/craftsman Tom McGill and the plantswomen Huntress and Forager.

Friends of St Ann’s Wells Gardens Hove – New Venue., 27 & 27 June. 25 local artists will be showing their work each day in the beautiful gardens. Live music, a lovely cafe and plenty of space to picnic. 11am – 4pm.

Stanmer Creatives: New for 2021. Nestled in the beautiful woodlands of Stanmer Park is a treasure trove of eclectic creativity. Come and meet the artists and makers working in their dynamic studios within Stanmer Craft Museum. Stanmer, Brighton

Sarah Mitchener - in i360 café: New for 2021. Paintings, sketches, prints and cards. From semi abstract Downs, woodlands and beaches to huge fish illustrations and colourful West Pier prints Sarah Mitchener has exhibited in London and local galleries, been a finalist in the Sunday Times Watercolour competition. I360 café.

32 Guildford Street: New for 2021. 32 Guildford Street is the home of abstract artist Mark Walter, a recent masters graduate from Brighton University. Mark is working from his home, set up now as the Walter Wolf Gallery and will be sharing the space with two other artists, Chrissy McLaughlan an abstract painter and recent masters graduate from Coventry University who has exhibited widely, including Schloss Lekow in Poland, Gallery Remise in Berlin, and Watford Museum. Originally from Yorkshire, Zoe Toolan is a prolific Brighton artist and has exhibited at Newhaven Fort and Gallery Lock In. 32 Guildford Street, Brighton.

Alizeti Creative: New House – Seven Dials Trail. Showcasing a diverse collection of affordable and original art by several artists, including unusual nature-inspired gelli-prints, stunning photo-montage giclee prints, outdoor sculpture and jewellery based on original ancient artefacts, original paintings, photography, textiles, hand painted stones and much more. Side flat 1, 3 Alexandra Villas, Brighton BN1 3RE.

Phoenix Studios Open Weekend 25/26/27 June. For one week only, Phoenix will be showing films made by filmmaker Rosie Powell featuring the Phoenix artists, including Artist Open Houses brochure cover artist Becky Blair along with an exhibition of work by Emily Jolley.

Clare Maria Wood – Independent Trail – New for 2021. Clare’s abstract landscapes and seascapes are her expression of place, which range from journeys around the craggy Cornish coast, rugged North Yorkshire Moors – where she was brought up – and more recently the wide-open Sussex coastline where she now lives. Clare Maria Wood is new to Artists Open Houses and will be opening her home and studio for the 3rd and 4th weeks. Her ethereal seascape painting and hand pulled collagraph prints are inspired by the Sussex coast and her most recent collection, ‘Hope’ is a response to the pandemic. Clare’s work has been selected for shows at the Royal Academy of Arts, The Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours and the Society of Women Artists. 68 Carlisle Road, Hove BN34FS

Below Stairs at No. 10 - Regency Town House basement. Four artists will be sharing new work in response to this intriguing space. Much of it untouched for nearly two hundred years, this servants’ living and workspace inspired us to respond in a range of media and perspectives. Mixed media from Fleur Cowgill and Hilary Kennett, painting by Mark Wilson and Sharon Fraser Hall. Basement, no. 10 Brunswick Square, Hove BN3 1EG

The Nature House: New House – Fiveways Trail. ‘The Nature House’ is a selection of artist who use the stunning Sussex landscape and coastline as inspiration, through the use of colour, shapes and textures in their work. Textile mixed media artist Ellie Hipkin is opening her home for the first time with 9 guest artists. 113 Preston Drove, Brighton BN1 6EW

The Ceramic House. The Ceramic House presents EMPTINESS IS FORM, an exhibition of contemporary Chinese ceramics. It is the first event in INTERBEING, an ambitious international project taking place throughout 2021 bringing ceramic and sound artists together through residencies, exhibitions and collaborations in China and the UK. The artworks selected for this show offer a rare overview of the breadth of contemporary Chinese ceramic practice and are displayed in the unique setting of Kay Aplin’s architectural ceramics which fill the interior and exterior of the house and garden. To accompany the ceramic show, Chinese sound artists will live stream performances during the exhibition. Event updates on The Ceramic House website/FB page. 75 Stanmer Villas, Brighton BN1 7HN