Setting Up Your Venue

Chichester Art Trail

Ready to become part of it?

Setting Up Your Venue

As artists, the great joy of the Art Trail is the buzz you feel when interested visitors, who have chosen to come and visit you, want to find out what you do and how you do it; the whole experience is positive and one that we are sure you will enjoy.

Su Cloud

Unique sculptural ceramics

Setting up your Venue

A focus on art

An Open Studios Trail is an experience in itself. As well as the opportunity to view and purchase original works of art, we also extend the unique invitation to see an artist’s work in the context of its creation.

At your Venue, art is the focus; bring your walls and surfaces to life with the creative dialogue that connects your tools, materials and the details of making. Do intrigue visitors with a flavour of the way you create; your work in progress, sketches or studies. It is these associations that catch the imagination of the visitor and make your work desirable. Selling is good of course, so clear labelling, pricing and/or a list of any work for sale is a good plan!

You can arrange demonstrations, give visitors a chance to have a go themselves or inform them about events or courses you may run. They will be sure to find inspiration or even the nudge that starts them on their own creative adventures – it’s quite something that we offer!

Tom Boulton


Setting up your Venue

During the Trail

The weekend arrives, you have all of your work out, kettle on for tea – and nobody comes! Three hours later visitors trickle in. Alternatively, visitors are queuing at the door at 10.30am! This is the way things are; the Trail is different for each artist. For some there are lots of sales, for others the success is in the courage to share your creations with an audience that has specifically sought to find you.

Participating in the Trail is also an experience in itself; there will always be the pleasure of inspiring talks with appreciative visitors, ideas for new directions, connections to be made and an opportunity to appraise how your work is received by your audience.

Joan Burnett

Land and seascapes

Setting up your Venue


The first indication of an Art Trail Venue!

You have our bright green Chichester Open Studios Art Trail signs to ensure visitors can locate you. There is a sign to put up at your Venue plus left and right arrows to direct your visitors. Venue Numbers, on sticky labels, are provided to add to your signs.

  • Please be considerate when placing the Trail signs in your vicinity and do not mount them on traffic signs.
  • The signs are for display on the Art Trail days, not before the event, and may need to be removed midweek and even in the evenings in some areas.
  • Please take down all signs immediately after the event and store safely for another year.
  • Be sure to provide clear directions for entry and exit to and from your working space; even when obvious, visitors can get lost!

Victoria Brown

Textiles, millinery and jewellery

Setting up your Venue

Important Information

Opening Hours

All studios are open from 10.30am – 5.00pm each day (with the exception of those who have elected to be closed on Bank Holiday). The artist is present during opening times.

About your work

Perhaps have an artist’s biography, a statement of work and details of your creative processes for interested visitors to read.

Keep in touch with your fans

A book to collect email contact addresses and comments, as well as a supply of business cards, will help you keep track of visitors who are enthusiastic about your work and may like to be informed of future Trails, exhibitions etc.


It is your own choice whether or not to provide refreshments. Some artists provide tea and coffee, some even cake, and wine. A cuppa can often encourage a visitor to feel at home and chat a bit longer about your work.

Card Payments

Being able to take credit card payments can help secure a purchase on the spot.

Trail Guides

It is helpful to keep a small supply of Trail Guides in your Venue during the Trail as people may drop in out of curiosity and will be pleased to have a copy.

Setting up your Venue

Trail Housekeeping

1. Fill in your Evaluation Form

We would like you to record daily visitor numbers and sales at your Venue, on the Evaluation Form provided in your Art Trail Goody Bag.

  • You have been supplied with a clicker counter to tally visitors.
  • Remember the headcount at 11am and 2pm.
  • One artist per Venue can fill in the form.
  • Notes on the Evaluation Form itself, give more information about what is required and how to submit the data online via the website immediately after the Trail.
  • If you have mislaid your Evaluation Form, you can download and print it from a link which will be live here just before the Trail.

Your agreement to the conditions of registration commits you to participating in this evaluation of the Art Trail. 100% return rate is necessary for us to make a meaningful assessment of the data and to ensure that you will be eligible for future Art Trails. All information is anonymised and when we have analysed the data, we will follow up with an Evaluation Report in a summer Newsletter.

The Evaluation Form provides us with information about the organisation and popularity of the Trail. We use the data to attract new artists and advertisers whose revenue and participation allow the Art Trail to thrive. We thank you for your cooperation with this endeavour.

The link to submit the data from your Evaluation Form will be live for the week following the Trail.

2. Safety

An artist’s working environment can potentially pose hazards to visitors and the Trail Guide will carry a disclaimer to the effect that visitors enter at your Venue at their own risk. We provide an Important Notice for Visitors that we ask you to download, print and display in your Venue to confirm the above.

Venue Safety  requirements can be found on the website under the Join Us tab.

3. Security

Where possible, lock all doors not being used or use PRIVATE/NO ENTRY signs.

It is perhaps not advisable to let strangers have free access to the house to use the loo.
Wear something with pockets for money, or a money belt.

4. Unexpected Closure

  • If you unfortunately find that you are unable to open your Venue, please email to let us know.
  • Contact any nearby Venues so they can inform visitors who may be venturing your way.
  • Place a notice outside your Venue explaining your closure.

5. Rogue Artists

A note from the experience of previous years… it is not acceptable, or fair to fee paying artists, to invite other unregistered artists to exhibit at Art Trail Venues alongside Trail artists.

If you have any queries, or need more information, do email us

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