Wandsworth Artists' Open House (WAOH) is a fantastic opportunity for artists and creative makers in Wandsworth to show and sell their work from their home or studio. It takes place over the first two weekends of October and is visited by up to 10,000 people every year.
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Artists and creative makers who live or work in the borough of Wandsworth. All art forms are welcomed: craft, design, sculpture, painting, print, photography, drawing, film and installation. Artists taking part should be confident with presenting and selling their work and will need to have sufficient quantity and quality of work to do so.
The event is coordinated by Enable Arts team, part of 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 steering committee of local artists. The local area reps coordinate publicity and promotional activities for the five ‘trail’ areas: Putney; Wandsworth Central; Battersea; Southfields; and Tooting & Furzedown.
For more information on Enable Leisure and Culture see here.
For more information on the roles and responsibilities of Enable Leisure and Culture, and of participating artists see here.
Contact information for the local trails can be found here.
For full information on what Enable Leisure and Culture do to support the event, and what participating artists do to support the event, see here.
We have also written a social media toolkit to give you help and tips on how to raise awareness of the event, medium, find it here.
Public Liability (Insurance) and Risk Assessment
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
Open Studios Network & Comms
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 who might feel shy about knocking on strange doors – use 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 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 – and just as it works in Lewes for antiques or Hay-on-Wye for books, you will benefit from the compare and contrast of 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. Don’t cook during the day as the smells can put people off and avoid having strong-smelling fast foods or microwavable soups.
Do have fun!