Brighton Artists Open House Festival is a bi-annual tradition that attracts both amateur and professional artists and nurtures Brighton and Hove’s artistic communities by making affordable local art available to the wider audience. This May YMCA DownsLink Group opened the doors of its Head Office at Reed House in Hove to exhibit an incredible array of art by their staff, young people, supporters and community artists. The aim of this exhibition is to raise money and awareness of the work of YMCA DLG as well as showcase incredible local art for everyone’s enjoyment. With the theme being ‘Belonging’, this exhibition really encompasses the sense of community, as well as advertises the diversity of talent, that characterises Brighton’s art scene.
The exhibition occupies the ground floor of Reed House and the visitors are immediately struck by the fluid movement from one genre to the next that the layout allows. The works are not arranged according to artist, style, medium or level of training. Instead, the layout makes the exhibition a melting pot of styles and ideas, the message is that everyone can create exceptional and worthy art. This mirrors YMCA DLG’s aim to make all young people feel that they belong and are an integral part of the community. The positioning of the art made by YMCA DLG young people is crucial. Having their art by the front door reminds the visitors that this Open House is allowing them an entrance, not only into the local art community, but further afield reaching out to the wider community and thereby fulfilling the YMCA DLG’s mission of helping young people belong, contribute and thrive.
Enhancing the theme of community, many of the artists got involved with the project because of personal as well as professional relationships with YMCA DLG. In a sense this exhibition has made Reed House its own art community; YMCA DLG young people become a part of this by exhibiting their work alongside local artists whose subjects often include Brighton and the surrounding landscapes.
This Artists Open House definitely achieves the YMCA DLG’s goals of building a community spirit. The exhibition has such a diverse range of art and buzz that there is definitely something for everyone to enjoy. Most of the artwork is up for sale with a share of the profit (50% – 100%) being donated to YMCA DLG.
Reed House is located at 47 Church Road, Hove BN3 2BE and the exhibition is open every Saturday and Sunday, 11am-4pm, 30th April – 22nd May.
By Emma Wilder