Open Studios and Artist’s Open Houses



This blog-post is about ‘Open Studios’ and ‘Artist’s Open Houses’. Open Studios is an established system that artists have long used to encourage their prospective collectors. Whereas ‘Artist’s Open Houses’ is much more recent.

Artists Open House
Artists Open Houses


The basic method of interesting customer/collectors is very old indeed. An artist operating from a studio in Italy or Holland, hundreds of years ago, would invite patrons into his workplace to see work in progress. Often the artist would have a separate raised area looking down onto the dirty studio floor, where apprentices would be grinding pigment and mixing paint. This was so that the clients could see and not get dirty themselves. The artist would show his work in this clean area and get commissions or sales from the visitor. This space was the ‘gallery’, a term since borrowed by art shops and dealers.


‘Artist’s Open Houses’ is new, and it is BIG, and it is thriving.

In 1982 the Brighton artist Ned Hoskins filled his home with his and other artists work in protest at the lack of visual arts in the Brighton Festival. He used his own home as an art gallery showing the artwork in everyday domestic settings.

In the years since the ‘Open House’ concept has taken off in a big way. Here in Brighton there are regularly over 200 open houses every May during the annual International Arts Festival. About 1000 artists exhibit and well over 100,000 people visit every year.

We think this was the first such ‘artists open house’ venture in the UK.

Ned had started a new phenomenon. Nowadays there are artist’s open house exhibitions all over the country.


Quote from article in The Spectator 4th May 2013 William Cook

‘…Artists Open Houses is a great way of bringing together artists and art-lovers. If you’re an artist, you don’t have to audition for a gallery. If you’re an art-lover, you can meet the artist, and see their work in situ. And if you see something you like, you don’t need to pay a fat commission to some middleman. It works for buyers and for sellers. Everybody wins…

…With a dynamic art school, glorious light and easy access to London, Brighton is home to lots of artists…

…Last year a quarter of a million people visited 200 houses around Brighton, spending more than a million pounds en route. During the past 30 years, Ned’s bright idea has inspired numerous imitators, but nowhere else has it taken off to the extent that it has in Brighton. In theory, it’s something you could do almost anywhere. In practice, it’s a perfect fit for this bohemian seaside town…’

Big Bonus.

It is free! No admission charges. Just come along and see us.

13 Addison Road, Hove
13 Addison Road, Hove

Our own Open House details for 2018 as follows.


13 Addison Road, Hove. BN3 1TQ

Open days and times;

Saturdays and Sundays in May. 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, 27.

11.00am – 18.00 pm


Shyama Ruffell Paintings, collage, prints and cards
Colin Ruffell Paintings, prints and cards
Frances Slade Paintings, prints and cards
David Price Ceramic sculpture
Holly Bell Handmade functional ceramics
Tim Mason Popcycle Quirky collectables and funky furnishings

Welcome to our popular exhibition flowing through the house, garden and garden studio. We are showing a wide range of original art and unique collectables.

Table99 will be providing gorgeous light bites and lunches.

So we are showing in an open house and open studio. Something for everyone.


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Colin Ruffell was born in 1939, then he was bombed, evacuated, educated, expelled, repatriated, married, bred, qualified and taught; until in 1965, aged 26, he became a professional artist. Since then he is proud and happy to have survived. He qualified from two Art Colleges in painting, design and printmaking, and the Open University in psychology and aesthetics, plus he has a reasonably clean driving license. He has founded, led or organised the following; Spectrum Studios, Artists in Action, Bayswater Road Artists Association, 9-Plus Artists Group, Buckingham Fine Art Ltd., Brighton Artists Workshop, European Fine Art Ltd., The Fine Art Trade Guild, The Fiveways Artists Group, and Crabfish Ltd.