About Wandsworth Art
When Wandsworth Artists’ Open House (WAOH) couldn’t go ahead in October 2020 due to COVID-19, Wandsworth Art was launched to stay true to its aims: to nurture and support artists, bolster creative networks and introduce local art lovers to their creative neighbours and the amazing cultural organisations that call Wandsworth home.
Wandsworth Art: a creative platform for 2020
Local artists were (and are!) invited to create a profile on Wandsworth Art for free.
This digital alternative to WAOH enabled Wandsworth’s resident artists to set up their own online profile and display images of their work in much the same way as WAOH artists, promoting local creative talent and offering a chance for art lovers to take a glimpse at artworks usually hidden behind Wandsworth’s front doors.
Since launching in Autumn 2020, Wandsworth Art has provided a platform to profile hundreds of local creatives, arts groups, projects and organisations, as well as publish exclusive interviews with innovative artists, feature our favourite places for local culture trips, and celebrate our artistic heritage.
Between 3 – 11 October 2020 we invited local partners and artists to curate presentations of their favourite artists from the artist profiles, and also offered local young creatives advice on careers and routes into the creative industries.
We partnered with the Royal College of Art (RCA) to launch Wandsworth Art Season with a ‘takeover’ day filled with ways to explore your own creativity and think about how your work exists digitally / online, while Bounce Theatre closed the Season with a ‘takeover’ day that featured inspirational creative workshops with tasks to do at home, and helped us celebrate Black History Month.
Throughout 2020 and 2021, we shone a light on local creatives and Wandsworth’s creative and cultural histories in our Spotlight series, in interviews and feature articles.
If you are an extraordinary artist, designer, project, group or creative organisation, let us know and upload your profile HERE.
Taking Wandsworth Art to the streets
In response to ongoing Covid-19 risks, we made the hard decision to cancel Wandsworth Artists’ Open House for a second year in 2021 and expanded the work of wandsworthart.com into the public realm as residents returned to local high streets.
Framed turned the borough’s streets into vibrant outdoor art galleries, with works by local artists (selected from the Wandsworth Art profiles) displayed on lamppost banners and in shop windows. Livening up the high streets, and encouraging people discover the work of artists living in their neighbourhoods, Framed also provided a new platform for local artists to exhibit their work safely during the on-going pandemic.
Throughout 2021-202, hundreds of lamppost banner artworks – featuring contemporary painting, traditional portraiture, photography, conceptual art, digital drawing, sculpture and illustration – took over Balham, Furzedown, Tooting, Earlsfield, Southfields, Roehampton, Putney, Wandsworth Town, Battersea, Nine Elms and Clapham Junction – and some of them are still up!
Details of the artworks and their locations can be found at wandsworthart.com/framed
A New Initiative: Wandsworth Art Markets
As we emerged from the pandemic and lockdown restrictions eased, there was an appetite to return to live, in-person events, while continuing to protect our most vulnerable participants and residents.
Originally scheduled for Autumn 2022 (over the usual WAOH dates), the Arts and Culture Service teamed up with Citizens Art London to organise a series of outdoor art markets for local artists and makers to sell their work.
The first Wandsworth Art Markets took place in Nine Elms, Putney and Tooting in April 2023.
A new era for Wandsworth Artists' Open House in 2023
At the same time, we began consultations with WOAH and wandsworthart.com artists about the future of WAOH, and the possibility of running as it an independent initiative in 2023. In the wake of these conversations, a new steering group of local artists took over the management of Wandsworth Artist Open House, creating a new brand and website which launched in September 2023.
Wandsworth Artist Open House returns for the first time since 2019 on 7 & 8 October and 14 & 15 October 2023.