Costs rub out tours

THE organiser of Fremantle’s Artist Open House initiative has shut it down, saying it’s not financially viable.

Cathrina Read says the curated walking tours weren’t breaking even, despite people often queuing for a gander at participating artists’ homes and the opportunity to snap up a bargain.

“It wasn’t ever financially viable in the three years. There are costs in every department —insurance, printing of event guides, website hosting and so on,” Ms Read said, noting it was a not-for-profit organisation.

“I took last year off to reconsider and think how I could make it work better, but I just can’t. It was a free event to make art accessible.

“For the last event we charged a small entry fee, but we still didn’t cover costs. The book is closed now.”

• A previous Artist Open House. Photo by Jody D’arcy

Over three years, AOHF sold over 440 works of art, generated more than $310,000 for artists and hosted 10,500 visitors.

Ms Read says the idea originated from a desire to create a new market for artists, and inspire a love of art in the community.

“I could see people wanted to see art and needed it in their lives, but they didn’t even know it themselves yet,” she says.

“Some people wouldn’t go to a commercial gallery, but still love art.”

Despite the gloom, she’s not given up completely, saying “never say never”.


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