In the early 1980’s a Brighton artist decided to fill his home with art works and invite people to come and visit to view the work. The idea was quickly taken up and shared by other artists and grew into the Brighton Artists Open Houses Festival in 2006 an annual event that still takes place in Brighton and Hove.
Open Houses now take place annually in many towns and cities round the UK and in Worthing the first artists open houses and studios welcomed visitors in at the beginning of the new millennium!
The Worthing event has taken on various forms during the last fifteen years until this year when Linda Bernhard and Rebecca McCardle took over the event, propelled by a grass roots ideal of how the event could be organised, invited a group of likeminded people to re-imagine the event for 2016.
The new group began meeting regularly in autumn 2015. The early meetings were lively and cheerful exchanges of views on the nature of a community arts event. The group is blessed in its specialisms but characterised by the harmony of its working; the shared vision is of an inclusive and grassroots event, with responsibilities and credit for its success spread as widely as possible.
The Steering Group, which has brought you the Open Houses event this year, is made up of local people with a background in the arts. Some of the group are practising artists with organisational experience, and some are organisers with creative arts experience. What a useful combination! Linda, Becky, Naomi, Lorraine, Mary and Hazel hope 2017 is the best year so far and will build for the future of the event for many years to come.
Here’s to everyone, artists and visitors alike, having a great time!