INFORMATION FOR ARTISTS
Wandsworth Artists’ Open House (WAOH) is a fantastic opportunity for artists and creative makers to show and sell their work from their home or studio in Wandsworth. It takes place over the first two weekends of October and is visited by up to 10,000 people every year.
Key figures for Wandsworth Artists’ Open House (WAOH) 2018:
- 197 artists participated across 85 venues
- Estimated 10,751 visitors
- 95% artists said they would take part in WAOH again
- 98% of visitors rated their experience either excellent or good
“I enjoyed discovering art and artists. Being able to discuss with the artist in a relaxed area is great. Very welcoming.” – WAOH visitor
The event takes place over all the borough of Wandsworth and is promoted as five local trails:
- Battersea/Nine Elms
- Wandsworth Town
“Lovely opportunity to get to know the community, experience its diversity and to see artwork.” – WAOH visitor
Who can take part?
Wandsworth Artists Open House is an open access festival, which means there is no selection process to take part. Whether you are a budding amateur or a seasoned artist or creative maker, you are welcome to take part, as long as you find a venue to display your work. All art forms are welcome: painting, craft, design, sculpture, print, photography, drawing, film, jewellery and installation.
Artists who do not live in Wandsworth or who are unable to open their home are always welcome to display their work in local restaurants and cafes, estate agents, churches, schools as long as they ensure that their venue has public liability insurance.
Why take part?
In previous years, artists have told us they enjoy taking part because it’s a unique opportunity for them to:
- Feel part of a community of artists
- Get people to see and maybe buy their work
- Inspire visitors’ curiosity
- Share their creative process with visitors and fellow artists
“Lovely warm people saying how much they liked my work. It has inspired me to make more.” – WAOH artist
Who runs it?
The event is coordinated by Enable Leisure and Culture, on behalf of Wandsworth Council, as part of its arts and cultural development programme. The event is run in conjunction with local artists. Please click here to see the ways in which we all work together, and what is expected of participating artists.
Local area trails strongly benefit from having a coordinator or a group of leading artists. Please make contact with your local trail coordinator as soon as you consider taking part.
How to take part
You will need to register your Wandsworth Artists Open House as a listing on our website.
Registrations are completed online for a £75 fee (£70 early bird until 24 June 2019), payable by Credit Card or Paypal. If you are unable to complete your own listing online and need support, please contact Event Coordinator Cath Mattos on email@example.com. There is a £10 administration charge for our offline listing service.
What do I get?
The registration to the event is per artist, not per venue. For each registration fee, you will receive:
- A listing in your chosen trail brochure, including a square image of your work and a short description of your practice – Artists sharing a venue are listed together to give more profile to the venue, but this does not affect the size of their listing. This way, venues hosting various artists get enhanced profile in the brochures and increase their reach.
- A listing page on the website, including up to 6 images of your work and a longer description of your practice, which you can update up to the day of the event.
- A selection of publicity materials, such as brochure prints for you to distribute locally (we organise the distribution to local libraries), posters and either balloons or bunting (to be decided) to help you make your Open House visible to potential visitors.
- Access to Marketing and Social Media resources
- Support from our Event Coordinator Cath Mattos
- Opportunities to network with other participating artists
Opening days and times
We strongly recommend that all Artists’ Open Houses are open on all 4 days of the event, from 11am to 6pm. However, we do not exclude artists whose venue might not be able to adhere to those opening hours.
What if I don’t have a venue?
Artists who would like to participate but do not have a venue are welcome to register as an Artist Seeking Venue: for a £5 listing fee, you will be able to showcase your work and state your display requirements on the website, so that Open Houses that are looking to invite further artists can contact you directly.
Once you have confirmed your Open House, you will then be able to register normally. Please note, you will need to pay the full cost of a regular listing to register with a venue after this process and the £5 will not be reimbursed.
Public Liability Insurance and Risk Assessment
Your Artists Open House will need to have Public Liability Insurance in place for the dates of the event. If you are not already insured, the best way to do so is through the a-n AIR programme. AIR-Artists’ Interaction & Representation – is a membership scheme for practicing visual and applied artists that provides a range of professional benefits as part of the artist subscription with a-n The Artists Information Company. All UK based a-n+AIR subscribers receive £5m public liability cover for free. For more information visit a-n.co.uk/air.
Your Artists Open House will also need to undertake a risk assessment of the venue to be able to take part.
Registration opens on 14 June 2019 (£70 early bird, £75 regular fee)
Early Bird closes midnight Monday 24 June
Registration closes midnight 15 July 2019
Registration closes on 15 July 2019, but you will be able to amend your brochure listing until 19 July 2019. After that date, you will only be able to amend your online listing – up to the day of the event.
Artists’ profiles locked down for content upload printed brochures – 19 July 2019
Website and print launch – 1 September 2019
Event dates – 5/6 and 12/13 October 2019
Marketing resources and top tips
Marketing and Social Media
The Arts Team will support your Artist’s Open House by:
- Managing the website
- Produce Art Trail brochures
- Produce posters and organise their display on Council sites
- Promote the overall event on Social Media
- Collect evaluation data
As an artist, you will be expected to:
- Disseminate the trail brochure and posters in your area
- Take part in the WAOH conversation
- Promote your Open House on Social Media
- Ensure your Open House is clearly visible to visitors
- Ensure Visitors have a great experience and want to see more Open Houses
- Contribute to the collection and sharing of evaluation data
For full information on how we work together to ensure the event’s success, please see our Marketing Toolkit here.
We have also produced a Social Media Toolkit to give you help and tips on how to raise awareness of the event. Please find it here.
Do's and Don'ts
- Do open and be present at the advertised times. Remember that how a visitor experiences your ‘open house’ affects other artists and the project as a whole. Consider the event from a visitor’s point of view and make them feel welcome!
- Do identify your house or studio clearly for visitors – use bunting, balloons, posters, banners etc.
- Do organise your own marketing and contribute to the success of the event by putting posters up locally, distributing printed publicity and promoting online and through social media. See our marketing toolkit here and social media toolkit here.
- Do link up with the trail leader and other artists/makers in your local area. You will benefit from support and advice – including top tips on how to manage sales.
- Do please encourage visitors to fill out the evaluation forms provided in your bundle. Feedback is essential to the future success of the event and helps grow audiences. We also ask that you complete a short online survey to give us your own feedback.
- Don’t be in competition with other open houses. The visitor is enjoying the event as a whole you will benefit from being alongside each other. Support your peer artists and recommend other venues for your visitors to see.
- Don’t leave it to the last minute to set up your show. It takes more thought and preparation than you may think!
- Don’t leave personal objects, valuables or too much clutter around. Make your home/studio inviting and remember that children may come along too.
Do have fun!