This year marks the tenth anniversary of the Artists Open Houses (AOH) Christmas Festival.
Across the first three weekends of December, art and craft lovers will be able to follow the Open Houses Christmas trail to view and buy the work of experienced professionals, college students, marginalised artists and artists with disabilities whilst enjoying the odd mince pie and glass of mulled wine.
A total of 54 houses/studios owned by artists and makers across Brighton and Hove will open their doors this year, with about 15 of the houses new to the trail.
“I feel thrilled to be part of the Open Houses event,” says Alejandro Martinez, one of the new artists exhibiting this year. “Thanks to Brighton’s vibrant cultural life this event can happen.”
Another newcomer to the annual art trail is Steph Burnley of Bonnie and Clyde.
“This is my first open house so I am really happy to get the opportunity to showcase a large number of my prints and originals in one space in Brighton,” she says.
“I am also really excited about the other artists and makers who are showing in the house with me.”
Christmas cards, wreaths, calendars, handmade tree decorations, newspaper jewellery, mosaics, tapestries, ceramic sculptures and much more will be available.
“Open Houses offer a great opportunity to buy original and exceptional arts and crafts from the best local and national artists and makers,” says festival director Judy Stevens.
“Visitors can chat to the artists in their homes and to browse the work whilst sampling home-made mince pies and glasses of hot mulled wine.”
The idea of Open Houses originally started in 1982 when Ned Hoskins, an artist from the Fiveways, invited visitors to view his and his friends’ work in the comfort of his own home.
Many other artists followed suit and eventually the Fiveways Artists Group was formed.
AOH was formed in 2004 to unite all the individual trails that started popping up across the city.
Although there are no events planned for the 10th anniversary, AOH intend to celebrate its 12th year in 2014 in keeping with the 12 days of Christmas, which is also the inspiration behind the front cover of this year’s brochure – titled the Ten Lords A’Leaping.
Various venues, weekends from Saturday, December 1, to Sunday, December 16. Visit www.aoh.org.uk for opening times of individual houses and a map of the trail