Artists will pocket more than £1 million from this year’s Open Houses Festival.

Now in its eighth year, the month-long event has developed from a smattering of local painters opening their doors to a huge festival in its own right.

Almost a quarter of a million people will have visited 220 houses by the end of the month with 40% of those coming from outside of Brighton and Hove.

Festival director, Judy Stevens, said: “The great thing about it is that anyone can take part.

“We like to encourage schools and young people as well as new mums looking to get back into art and older people.”

Around 1,000 artists will use the festival to gain valuable exposure as well as sell some of their pieces.

Hove painter, Danny Lyon, said: “It’s a great opportunity to exhibit my work free from gallery interest and on my own terms. You don’t get that in other cities.”

Caia Matheson, who has recently had her work featured on the Saatchi and Saatchi website, added: “I think that paintings are always more interesting when you get to see the process.

“It’s nice to speak to your customers because when they buy a painting they are buying a piece of you.”

David and Tina Gunstone, who are opening their door to a number of local artists as well as displaying Tina’s handmade jewellery, urged others to give it a go.

Local painter Karren Urben added: “It’s great exposure and you get to meet so many interesting people.”

For more details on all 220 houses visit: