Artist Melodie Stacey Announced as 2018 Cover Artist & Highlights from the 2018 Festival

The Artists Open Houses festival 2018, the largest event of its kind in the UK, will take place in Brighton, Hove and beyond over four weekends of May, starting Saturday 5th May.

Artist Melodie Stacey has been announced as the winner of the 2018 Brochure Cover Artist Award, beating more than 180 other artists to the coveted title in the Artists Open Houses Awards. Melodie Stacey is a fine art and mixed media artists from Brighton. Influenced by illustration, 20th Century painting, sculpture and photography, Melodie trained in fine art at Grays School of Art in Aberdeen. She will be exhibiting at Brighton Moon Studio in the Hanover Trail and also at The Old Market in Hove.

The Best Newcomer Award 2017 was given to artist and illustrator Sophie Wake who will be exhibiting at The Red Brick House in the Kemptown trail.

A key area in this year’s festival is homelessness, recovery and outsider art. Several homeless and recovery centres across the city will be taking part – some for the first time – and exhibiting the work of talented artists, writers, photographers and makers who access their support. Highlights include: Montefiore Artists winner of The AOH Best Open HOUSE Award in 2017, who will be showcasing work by learning disabled artists, and newcomer Recovery Discovery a drug and alcohol recovery centre.

⦁ New for 2018! Recovery and Discovery: Pavilions and Cascade Creative Recovery will be presenting the work of artists and craftsmen in recovery from drug and alcohol addictions. This event is open for one day only and will showcase varied work such as drawings, paintings, writing, photography, craft work, and music from the wonderful Recovery Choir. Recovery-Discovery is a unique opportunity to witness the transformative power of art in the journey of recovery.

⦁ Art From The Edge, an exhibition featuring work from the marginalised of society, will be taking place at St. Luke’s Prestonville, which hosts drop-ins for homeless and various recovery groups – the artworks on display will be work created by people from these groups.  This exhibition will be an eclectic mix of styles and formats and will give a glimpse into the world of those in our society who are often seen as being excluded or unable to contribute. (Sundays only).

⦁ Justlife Artists will be opening their studio space in Brighton’s Open Market providing the opportunity to see an inspiring collection of works created by a range of talented artists who have experienced homelessness. Justlife Creative Studio provides a space for artists who are homeless to practise their skills and provide peer support to develop professionally.

⦁ William Collier House, part of Brighton YMCA, house and support single men and women who have experienced homelessness with a diverse range of needs, enabling them to improve their wellbeing, gain skills and maximise their confidence so that they can go on to live independent and fulfilling lives. The gallery draws together the varied work of resident artists through all Brighton YMCA projects.

⦁ Southdown Mental Health Recovery Services will present a diverse and vibrant mix of painting, sculpture and photography showcasing the work by the many talented artists who use the Recovery Services. The work will be displayed in Preston Park Recovery Centre.

⦁ After winning Best Open House 2017, Montefiore Artists will present another fantastic show celebrating their unique artists and their diverse range of artwork; to include painting, printing, textiles, photography, sculpture, mosaics, ceramics and knitted work. All the work in the exhibition is made by artists with learning disabilities and/or mental health needs.

Other Festival highlights for 2018 include:

⦁ The Dog Show: One of the most popular Artists Open Houses is back for 2018 featuring a cornucopia of dog themed art: Artist Sally Muir is based in Bath, UK and is a prodigious portrait painter of dogs. Sally is Artist in Residence at Anthropologie and recently published A Dog A Day, a book based on the series with 365 artworks of dogs — all shapes, sizes, breeds and mixes as originally published on Facebook. Other works on show include Felted Fido’s felted dogs, Lorraine Corrigan’s papier-mâché dogs, Joanna Osborne’s dog sculpture and Electric Daisy Flower Farm’s floral dogs.

⦁ Cats at Junkyard Dogs: Cats at Junkyard Dogs is a lively exhibition from nine artists who are inspired by cats. Feline friends are the subject of these diverse works including illustrations, paintings and mixed media.

⦁ The work of recent Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell will be on show at Ravenswood in Florence Road, one of the highlights in the Artists Open Houses festival. Other artists and works on show include Jo Riddell’s etchings and woodcuts, wood sculpture from Si Unwins and jewellery from Tanya Ufer.

⦁ New for 2018! 12 Scott Road will be opening for the first time…On the corner of a street, you’ll enter a Victorian house through a patio garden and be greeted by celebrated artist and printmaker Jonny Hannah’s bold outdoor totem sculptures, leading you inside to an array of contemporary work over two floors.

⦁ Jehane’s Open House. Brighton-born designer Jehane Boden Spiers is re-opening her house in Fiveways as a new member of the Fiveways Artist Group. Jehane’s 2018 Open House delivers her signature style of contemporary artists in a friendly, beautifully presented home – previously described as ‘a treasure trove of contemporary art’ (The Spectator). Participating artists include British artist and designer Cressida Bell, daughter of Quentin Bell and granddaughter of Bloomsbury Group artist. Vanessa Bell.

⦁ Sophie Wake, Winner of the Best Newcomer Award in the 2017 Artists Open Houses Awards, will be showing her work at the Red Brick House along with other artists across a mix of mediums.

⦁ AT Open House returns for 2018 with a selection of wonderful selection of graphic art, ceramics, paintings and print. Artists taking part are from Brighton and beyond, and include Becky Blair, Bureau Black, Atelier Bricolage, Dead Methods, Dowse Design, Hello Dodo, Grace McCarthy and One We Made Earlier.

⦁ Encounters, featuring art from across the world, is another award-winning festival favourite.
This year international and local artists will challenge your imagination. Barrios‘ sculptures, and Troconis‘ abstract shantytowns defy the laws of geometry. Adam creates a dual perception between inside and outside. A. Sanchez‘s soundscapes transform daily life into a ballet. Lieberman‘s and McGregor‘s work reflect concern and caring for the environment. An installation by Ardó and Parejo speaks loudly to our morality. C. Sanchez‘s jewellery honours nature’s bounty and Márquez’s amazing ceramics sculptures are a true homage to the Earth.

Ditchling Trail:

Many houses and studios in the South Downs village of Ditchling will be taking in the Artists Open Houses festival.

Highlights include

⦁ The Blue Shed who will be showing drawings, prints and sculptures from David Browne, musical instruments from Ian Chisholm, contemporary hand-made chairs from English hardwoods by Martin Spencer an drawings and paintings created at her hut on Portland in Dorset by Caroline Todd.

⦁ No.35 Ditchling No. 35 is the home and studio of designer/maker, Ali Stringell. Ali works primarily with fine silver and other unexpected elements to produce contemporary silverware and sculptures. Ail exhibits with ‘Handmade in Britain’ and CAA, London.

⦁ Kate Sherman, whose evocative photo-realist paintings have been exhibited widely in the UK and abroad, In addition to new landscape and forest paintings, there will be a studio sale of older work available to view and buy and, in the house, there will be ceramic tableware by potter Lucy Ogden. /

The Artists Open Houses Festival in Brighton, Hove and beyond is the largest event of its kind in the UK, with around 200 houses and studio spaces opening their doors to the public across 4 weekends in May, starting Saturday 5th May. Last year over 200,000 people visited the festival.

The festival offers the chance to buy artworks directly from the artists and makers themselves. There is a hugely diverse selection of artworks on show, from original paintings, prints, graffiti arts, ceramics and textiles to photography, sculpture, crafts, jewellery and many other media.

Artist Open Houses (AOH) helps artists connect with audiences in self-curated, non-traditional art spaces. This usually means visiting artists’ own homes, offering festivalgoers an exclusive snapshot of how creatives live in this vibrant and creative city. From beautiful Regency-style properties to quirky and colourful cottages, many of the houses boast stunning gardens creatively landscaped by their owners.

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 fishermen’s houses of Hanover to the urban warehouse spaces of the North Laine and cottages of the South Downs village of Ditchling.

Judy Stevens, Artists Open Houses Festival Director says, “Brighton and Hove is an incredibly creative city with a wealth of talent. The festival is a fantastic platform for artists and makers and it’s a testament to its success that so many artists of all ages and at all stages of their careers choose to take part. The festival is a real community event, reaching into all areas of the city and especially welcoming artists often excluded from the mainstream for a variety of reasons. This year looks like being a bumper year for the festival. We have had a fantastic response from artists and makers around the city with more artists taking part than ever.”

Festival Dates:
May 5/6/7
May 12/13
May 19/20
May 26/27

Interiors store Neptune Hove is the headline sponsor for the 2018 festival.

Entry to the Artists Open Houses festival is free to the public.
Full listings can be found at

For media information or images please contact:
Pandora George at Bullet PR
[email protected] 01273 775520 (office)

-Notes to Editors-

About Artist Open Houses
Brighton and Hove Artist Open Houses, the originator of the Open House movement, date back to 1981 when an artist from the Fiveways area of Brighton, Ned Hoskins opened his house to the public to view his work, and that of a group of friends. Other artists in the area followed suit to form the Fiveways Artist Group. In a city full of creatives, the idea proved popular and soon Artist Open Houses sprung up all over the city.

The Artist Open House festival is now the largest event of its kind in the UK. Around 200 houses and studio spaces across the city will be opening their doors to exhibit the work of over 1,500 artists and makers.