How art trails are building pipelines of new gallery audiences

Artists’ open house art trails are often very popular events in their own right. But they are also a big win for galleries… Here’s why.
An elderly white female artist wearing bold red rimmed glasses in her ceramics studio.

When artist Ian de Souza and his wife Ros decided to open their home for their first artists’ open house event and walking tour in their creative-enclave neighbourhood, they weren’t entirely sure who would show up on their doorstep.

‘In our first year [in 2014], we opened four artists’ homes in our area, and it was a real experiment,’ Ros de Souza explains. ‘We had a budget of about $400 and we put some posters up in the street to advertise it and did some posts on social media, when back then, social media was something fresh,’ she adds.

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ArtsHub's Arts Feature Writer Jo Pickup is based in Perth. An arts writer and manager, she has worked as a journalist and broadcaster for media such as the ABC, RTRFM and The West Australian newspaper, contributing media content and commentary on art, culture and design. She has also worked for arts organisations such as Fremantle Arts Centre, STRUT dance, and the Aboriginal Arts Centre Hub of WA, as well as being a sessional arts lecturer at The Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA).