Schools in Brighton take part in the festival plus child-friendly houses for May 2019

The Artists Open Houses Festival

Schools in Brighton take part in the festival plus child-friendly houses for May 2019

The Artists Open Houses festival 2019, the largest event of its kind in the UK, will take place in Brighton, Hove and beyond, over four weekends in May, starting Saturday May 4, 2019.

Whilst all the houses welcome children, many of them offer child-friendly specific artists and events, from chocolate making workshops to puppet-making to family-friendly events and an exhibition by local school children on a farm in Ditchling.

Several schools across Brighton will also be participating, including Varndean, Dorothy Stringer and Portslade Academy.

One of the youngest artists in the festival will be 12-year old Najwa Baig Derry who will be showing her work for the first time.  Najwa will be showing her work at the open house of The Sisters Grim, descendants of the famous clown Joseph Grimaldi, as part of a special exhibition including children’s book illustration and textiles and installation.

Free to visit, the festival will see over 1500 artists and makers open the doors to their houses or studio spaces in more than 180 venues to exhibit and sell their artworks direct to the public.

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 Artists Open Houses festival dates for 2019 are:

May 4 & 5
May 11 & 12
May 18 & 19
May 25 & 26

Child-Friendly Highlights of the 2019 Festival include:

The Chocolate House: Independent Trail
For her first Artist Open House, chocolate artist Ev Day is exhibiting a range of sculptures made entirely out of chocolate, creating an amazing sensory experience.  As well as chocolate sculptures, there will be a chocolate kitchen where exciting demos will take place. There will also be artworks from several other artists including celebrated ceramicist Kay Aplin who recently produced work for ‘Collect Open 2019’ at The Saatchi Gallery. Visitors can also expect a chocolate themed surprise, which will be different every weekend.
78 Hangleton Way, BN3 8EQ


The Trotter’s Passport: Hove Trail
The Trotter’s Passport is an interactive stamp-collecting scheme, which has been running for over 10 years. Children can pick up a Hove Trotters ‘Passport’ at any of Hove Arts 22 venues; at each house they can answer a short quiz about the artwork in order to receive a stamp or sticker. Once they have collected a minimum of 8 stamps they can visit The Book Nook to claim a free goodie bag and hot chocolate. For the first time this year the Trotter’s Passport makers have organised a Self Portrait competition. Children will be invited to do a portrait of themselves on their Passport. Parents can then upload the image to Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #HoveTrotters. The top 3 entries will be announced 1 June 2019 with an exciting bundle of books for the winner.

Art on the Farm: Ditchling
A new venue for 2019, Art on the Farm is set on a family run, organic free-range egg farm in Ditchling in the heart of the South Downs. Exhibiting art by local school children, visitors of the trail can create their own canvases, which will be exhibited on the farm for the rest of the month. Expect live music, delicious street food and a licensed bar.
The Mac’s Farm, Dumbrells Court Road, Ditchling BN6 8GT


School’s Day: Varndean, Dorothy Stringer, Portslade Academy.
Portslade Academy, Varndean High School and Dorothy Stringer School will open their doors to exhibit artwork from students all day on May 18th, giving the public an opportunity to view exciting work from young art students living around Brighton.
Portslade and Brighton


Life Love and Art: Hove Trail
For the first time Sarah Bagg hosts Life Love and Art, a collection featuring a wide range of artists and designers engaging for the whole family, at the same time as raising money for the Robin Hood Foundation which provides art therapy for children and adults in the area. Kids can enjoy art from children’s book illustrator Holly Twain with her imaginative woodland creatures as well as eye-catching illustrations from Lauren Nickless, who took part in the Martlets Snail Space project, which capture the vibrant eccentric nature of Brighton. There are also contemporary light displays as well as handcrafted crochet works ranging from tasteful scarves to woollen teddy bears.


New work from The Sisters Grim8 Charles Street: Kemptown Trail
The Sisters Grim, descendants of the famous clown Joseph Grimaldi. Teresa and Catherine Grimaldi are collaborating for a special exhibition.  For this years open house they will be presenting new work independantly using collage,found objects and embroidery.  In addition, pieces by Najwa Baig Derry who, at only 12 years old, is exhibiting her work for the first time.
8 Charles Street, BN2 1TA