Studios and Membership

Membership: There are two types of membership: Studio Artists  and Associate Members.  Admission is by the same procedure and selection criteria (below), as artists may move between types. There is a waiting list for studios.

Application Procedure: please send a cv, 6 images and an artist’s statement to the Administrator, OpenHand OpenSpace, The Keep, 571 Oxford Road, Reading RG30 1HL.  Submissions may be on paper or by email.  You may wish to arrange a visit to see the studios first, or come to one of our exhibitions or open studios events.  Please email, or call on 0118 959 7752, to make an appointment.  Wed or Fri 11-1 are the best times.

Associate OHOS Artists: For those who would like to be part of OHOS activities but do not want a studio, or are on the waiting list for one, the new Associate Membership scheme is a possibility. 
The fee for Associate Membership is £6 per month paid by standing order.   It lasts for a year and re-election is possible.  There is a current maximum of 20 Associates.
Associates may book at member's rates the ground floor spaces for exhibitions and art/education/heritage related activities such as talks or practical workshops.  Please see Gallery page for more details.  They may also submit work for OHOS exhibitions and projects, and can enjoy belonging to a group with an established and distinguished past, useful connections in the art world,  and good prospects for an up and coming future.  They will also have priority over non-members on the studio waiting list.

Studios: OpenHand OpenSpace occupies a grade II listed Victorian armoury and guardroom that was once part of Brock Barracks.  The Keep is relatively unmodernised and fairly spartan.   We have three floors: 
  • Ground floor: exhibition and project space, small library with printing presses, kitchenette, and WC, and archive office.  It is accessible to wheelchairs during exhibitions.
  • First floor: 6 studios, two WCs, a small darkroom/print room
  • Second floor: 7 studios, common room with kettle, microwave, phone, and internet access.
There is no lift.  Some studios are shared, giving a current maximum of 13 studio artists.  Rents range from £50 to £134 per month.
Selection criteria: OHOS is open and friendly, but to maintain high standards in delivering exhibitions and education it must be selective when admitting new members. 

We look for a flexible balance of the following, and don’t necessarily require everything on the list.  OHOS is a democracy, and new artists are voted on at monthly meetings.  A new artist becomes part of the organisation, and must commit voluntary time to helping deliver OHOS's aim of public education in the visual arts.
  • high level of practical competence as an artist
  • commitment to excellence
  • demonstrating originality in their work
  • interest in the intellectual aspects of art (eg degree, preferably but not necessarily postgraduate)
  • willingness to take an active role in sustaining OHOS
  • Engagement with contemporary art and new developments
  • commitment to professional fine art practice
  • acceptance of health and safety procedures
  • openness to community engagement
  •  Other skills and experience, eg education qualification
  • exhibition experience beyond Reading 
  • Studio artists must also have personal a-n AIR membership with public liability insurance.
  • Not using the studio for running a business (stipulated in OHOS rules/constitution*) But artists may invite visitors to their studios and sell work, and work in exhibitions may be for sale. 
* OHOS was set up for the “non-commercial” artist, defined by the National Federation of Artists’ Studio Providers as “one who makes art work primarily for its creative, cultural, intellectual or philosophical value, rather than its commodity value.”