Open House Guide

One of the most popular elements of Adur Art Trail is the opportunity for visitors to explore art in the different setting of artists’ homes. Opening your home is a great way to get your work seen by a large number of people but it can seem a bit daunting. This guide is intended to cover all the aspects of being an Open Venue – what to exhibit, where to exhibit it, who to invite to exhibit with you and how to encourage the visitors.

(The quotation below and many of the ideas have been adapted from a Guardian article published in April 2015)

“Home is where the art is
Why go to a gallery when you can create an exhibition in your own home?”

Space to exhibit

If you’re considering opening your house then you probably have a good idea about where you want to put the work. It will be determined by the kind of work that will be on show so you might need wall space, shelves or tables. Try to keep anything that detracts from the work to a minimum. It isn’t only what you show, but how you show it

What to show?

Your home, your rules …..
but we have found that it is usually better to have the work of more than one artist. Visitors can feel a bit wary of visiting a single artist venue.

Things to consider

• When you have chosen your exhibiting space make it clear to visitors which rooms/areas are open..
• Make a quick risk assessment so you can warn people of any possible hazards – e.g. uneven steps
• Check your insurance. If you are concerned about covering yourself for any accidents then you can get info from the website
• Opening days are: 2nd/3rd:9th/10th:16th/17th June – 10am to 5pm.
• You’ll need several people to share the load of ‘staffing’ the exhibition especially if it’s in more than one area. People love to chat and meet the artists.

Attracting visitors

What aAc will provide:
• 1x5m length of bunting (or more if requested)
• Open venue banner
• Venue number (as it appears in the Art Trail guide)
• Copies of the Art Trail guide – for distribution
• Art Trail Labels for the work in your venue

25000 Guides will be printed and distributed. There will also be press releases and large posters around the area advertising the Art Trail in the weeks before.

What you can do:
• Tell everyone you know verbally i.e. neighbours, friends , email , post, social media.
• Distribute some guides around your immediate neighbourhood and in local shops etc.
• Have your own private view maybe produce a tempting flyer.
• Some people feel worried about coming in to the Open House if the door is shut. If it’s not possible to leave the door open maybe have a ‘Please Come In’ notice on the door. Make it feel welcoming. Perhaps have some low level music playing. Silence can be uncomfortable.
• Use bribery! Or sell drinks and cakes to raise money for your favourite charity. It makes people feel comfortable and gives them more time to have a good look at all the work.
• Try and keep a record of footfall if you can and encourage people to sign your visitors book.
• Consider arranging workshops or demonstrations as these usually attract more visitors.

Above all remember :-

Have Fun