Looking back at Artists Open Houses

j Rattenbury

Artists Open Houses, running alongside the Brighton Festival and Fringe each year in May has now drawn to a close at YMCA DLG. Our second year in the exhibition saw more people through the door than last year, partly due to being number 9 on the Hove Arts Trial.

The walls are looking empty as artists take down work and happy buyers collect the pieces they have bought.

We had a fantastic start with our launch that saw both Lee Scott and Ray Hewitt taking turns on the decks, keeping us all entertained with their DJ sets. Sponsorship from The Chilli Pickle, Fatto a manno, The Flower Stand and Waitrose ensured we were all well fed. As the prosecco flowed, we listened to speeches from Chas Walker and Guy Lloyd from Juice Radio, and artwork started to get snapped up. Jackie Bissett, fashion illustrator and artist, sketched live portraits during the night enabling people to go home with bespoke art work!

Open every weekend throughout May and staffed by volunteers from our staff and contributing artists, we saw a steady flow of visitors through the door.  We promoted the valuable work of the YMCA to the wider community and raised awareness. Many people said they had seen the building many times yet had no idea that we were here!

All this led to enquiries from people wanting to volunteer, genuine interest from people wanting to know about our work and people asking how to exhibit their work with us next year.  We were able to signpost people with friends or family in housing need to YMCA YAC, as well as promoting Find Get Give and Dialogue.

During the final weekend we finished on a high, with live music from John Rattenbury and Jackie was back and in high demand for more live portraits.


YMCA enables people to develop their full potential in mind, body and spirit. Inspired by and faithful to our Christian values, we create supportive, inclusive and energising communities, where young people can truly belong, contribute and thrive.

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