Wandsworth Artists’ Open House

In March 2023, the email below was shared with all artists who have previously taken part in Wandsworth Artist Open House (WAOH), or created a profile on wandsworthart.com, inviting local artists to a network meeting to discuss (among other things) the future of WAOH as an independent initiative.

We are sharing this letter online partly to open out the offer of attending the network meeting to local residents who are interested in WAOH, but may not have taken part in the past, but also to inform residents of our intention to turn over the management of Wandsworth Artist Open House to the artists of Wandsworth.

Email content 

Dear Wandsworth Artists,

I hope this email finds you well. A huge thank you again to all those that attended the last network meeting in August and shared your feedback and ideas with us, these are valuable as the council continue to develop programmes of support for artists in the borough.

I am writing today to invite you to the next Wandsworth Artists Network meeting, which will take place online via Teams on Tuesday 25 April, 6pm – 7pm. If you can join us, please RSVP by emailing arts@wandsworth.gov.uk, notes will be circulated following the meeting for those that can’t attend.

The purpose of this meeting is to explore how the council continues to support artists going forward.

As part of this discussion, we want to discuss:

  • The Wandsworth Art Markets. These outdoor art markets came from the council’s commitment to champion the borough’s artists and showcase their work to the public in a covid-safe way and will take place on the first weekend of April. Delivered in partnership with Citizen’s Art, the markets are free to attend and will be held across the borough in New Union Square (Nine Elms), St Mary’s Churchyard (Putney) and All Saints Church (Tooting) on Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 April 2023. Many of the artists in the network will be exhibiting their work so we hope that you will come along to support them and the sector. Find out more about the markets.
  • Information about upcoming training and development opportunities for artists within the borough.
  • Wandsworth Artist Open House. Wandsworth Council is keen to work with local artists to transfer over the management of this initiative so that it can be run independently from the council. The benefits of this would be increased autonomy for the network outside of council restrictions and sector ownership of the event, which would be supported by the council through fundraising guidance, marketing and handover of resources.

If you would like to take on a leadership role in this sector-led event we would love to hear from you.

Email us at arts@wandsworth.gov.uk expressing your interest and a member of the team will be in touch with you about next steps.

In the meantime, we hope to see many of you at the Art Markets and look forward to talking further in April.

Best wishes,
Sara O’Donnell, Head of Arts and Culture, Wandsworth Council

How we got here

In 2020, our Arts Service kept the ethos of Wandsworth Artists’ Open House alive during lockdown through the creation of Wandsworth Art, a website highlighting and promoting local creative talent and offering a chance for art lovers to take a glimpse at artworks usually hidden behind Wandsworth’s front doors.

This free alternative to WAOH enables 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.

Local artists are invited to create a profile on Wandsworth Art for free.

Some of the artwork uploaded to Wandsworth Art was selected for display on lamppost banners in Balham, Furzedown, Tooting, Earlsfield, Southfield, Roehampton, Putney, Wandsworth Town, Battersea, and Nine Elms as part of Framed (2021 - 2022), a project which turned the borough’s high streets into vibrant outdoor art galleries.

Wandsworth Council will continue promoting our residents’ creativity, through installations in the public realm, by sharing their work online, and through the creation of new initiatives such as the Wandsworth Art Markets.