Welcome to Art House

A date for your diary: June 10-11th 2017

The Story of Art House

At one time, if you fancied going to see some art, you would have to take yourself off to the local museum or gallery. More recently, there has been a welcome trend to make art more accessible. Visit a country park, National Trust property or even a reservoir, and the chances are you'll be offered a map of the local art trail, with activities to keep the kids happy and maybe even a backpack and some crayons. In June, Art House Leicester offers a different take on the art trail. This trail takes you through city suburbs, with houses taking the place of galleries. You might not get a backpack, but this trail gives you a chance to see "extraordinary art in ordinary houses" and meet the artists who have made it.

Art House Leicester started in 2008, when Hannah Devine-Wright went round to her neighbour, Katarzyna Klein to buy a couple of her paintings for gifts. Amazed by the amount of work that Katarzyna had stashed away in boxes, she suggested that she should open her house and try to sell some. One thing led to another and the first Art House weekend took place with 3 houses and 8 local artists taking part. Something about the event struck a chord with the public and the annual event has gone from strength to strength. On the second weekend in June Art House opens its doors and welcomes you to view the work of over 60 exhibitors.

The range and background of the artists taking part is also impressive. As well as full time professional artists, many of whom are represented by galleries across the country and have had solo exhibitions, there are a number of participants who manage to fit their creative activities around alternative careers. Sue Ryan, Jane Askey, Austin Orwin and Gerry Unsworth all have a background of teaching art across the ages. Louise Ellerington is a professional fine artist who owns and manages Ellerington Fine Art on Clarendon Park Road. Amy Bonsor and Perin Towlson were both given the opportunity to take part after impressing in the DMU degree shows. Professional illustrator Katarzyna Klein has recently completed a series of Rebecca Shaw book covers for the Orion Publishing Group. I could go on, but one of the joys of Art House is discovering the depth of talent that the city has to offer as you make your way around the trail.

Art House Leicester, with its special atmosphere, gives you a unique opportunity to see art and meet artists in the local community. To give you a better feel of what to expect, have a look at Bill Newsinger's excellent video below of a past Art House event. Just remember to bring your own backpack and crayons!

Intro by Andy Ward

Radio Leicester Coverage

Listen to an interview about Art House with Katarzyna Klein broadcast on the 11th June 2015