Join Us

Join As An Artist

Are you interested in becoming a member of Steyning Arts? it means you:

Will be invited to take part in Steyning Arts events, including Art Trails, exhibitions and a range of ‘Meet the Artist’ and support group evenings.
Can have a personal page where your work will be displayed on the Steyning Arts website.
Will be eligible to participate in Members meeting, surveys and, and vote in Annual and Extraordinary General Meetings.
Must help out. Steyning Arts runs entirely on volunteer power, so we expect members to share the work involved in organising exhibitions and events, and in keeping the organisation running smoothly.

We are a community of artists and makers who are working to support each other in as inclusive a way as possible. Our Art Trail Team organise and match venues to artists without favouritism or any other political/commercial agenda.

Notes for new members/returning ex-members:

Our annual Art Trail usually comprises 22 – 24 venues including members own homes/studios and approximately 3 communal venues in Steyning, Bramber and Upper Beeding.

The Trail Venue Team consult the Steyning Arts website ‘Artist pages’ regularly to help match artists to venues. All artists need to check they have a Steyning Arts website page and that the work accurately represents what they make.

The New Member Review Panel meets twice per year, in early February and in early September. When a new member application is completed it will be saved in our system until the review panel meets. If successful, new members will be given information about how to pay fees and a website page will be created. Further details can be found in the new member application form on the website. The new membership is £25.

Anyone who has been a member in the past, has allowed membership to lapse and wishes to return, will need to complete a new member application form. The fee will be £25.

How to join – new members/returning ex-members:

Before making an application please read the Art Trail/Christmas Fair FAQ’s below and then if you would still like to apply for membership please click on this link and fill in the online form.

Notes for existing members:

For existing members who wish to continue their membership annually, the fee is £15.

There are additional charges for members who apply for the Art Trail and the Christmas Gift Fair and Exhibition.

To renew your membership, please click on this link and fill in the online form.

Sending photos of your work

This website is an important way of publicising the Group and its talented members. We can accept up to 6 photographs per artist. New members are asked to submit photos of their work as part of the application process.  Members can update some or all of your images once a year. Note that images you submit may be used for posters, flyers, social media and other marketing purposes.

When sending images make sure you name your image files clearly, with your name and an image number (e.g. JosieBloggs001, JosieBloggs002, etc.) Images need to be re-sized for use on the website with a resolution of 72dpi and a size of 1200pixels along the longest length.

Melissa Birch has prepared some useful, downloadable notes on how to photograph your work. Or you can contact Frank Bull who is not only a local photographer but one of our members.

Any other queries regarding your page on the website, should be sent directly to Melissa our website editor at:



Specific to 2022 and in light of the pandemic

 After running a successful trail in 2021 we plan to go ahead again in May/June 2022.  This will be subject to any health and safety restrictions imposed at the time of the Trail dates. Once again the Trail is dependent on securing enough domestic and communal venues to fit the number of member artists making a Trail application.

Can we have guest artists in the 2022 Trail?

We hope we will have more domestic venues and one or two additional communal venue arrangements. Details will be clearer in January 2022. We expect to include guest artists and will finalise this decision in February 2022.

When will I know how much space I’ve got and where it will be?

Detailed information will be available four-five weeks after the application deadline. We are pressed for time from the moment of the application deadline until the brochure goes to print, and have to keep firm deadlines in order to complete the process. For this reason we cannot accept late applicants.

Can I exhibit in two venues?

Once again we will restrict artists to one venue for 2022, we still expect space to be at a premium.

Artists – expectations for all Art Trail and Christmas Fair exhibitors

What do I need to do to show my work professionally?

  • All the work you exhibit must be original, or in print editions designed and made by you
  • Works must be exhibited suitably and to a professional standard
  • Unframed and Framed works must have suitable D rings, strings on the back or other agreed means of attachment suitable for the walls in the venue
  • 3D works, jewellery, installations may need tablecloths, cabinets all of which should be supplied by the artists and established by prior agreement with the venue holder
  • Artists are expected to hang the works themselves at a mutually agreed time with the venue holder
  • Use the Steyning Arts label document or another agreed format with your venue holder
  • Supplying an Artist Statement is especially useful for times when you are not on stewarding duty
  • Create a list of works with prices for the venue holder
  • Post your share of flyers, posters etc
  • Steward the venue at agreed times, including taking the sales and recording them
  • Be familiar with the risk assessment for your venue
  • Agree any arrangements for taking sales with the venue holder. If you are in a High Street business venue make prior arrangements with the business owner about commission
  • Contribute to the smooth running of the Art Trail and the venue you are in

Communal and Domestic Venue options

Can I choose which venue I show in?

Before and during the process of coordinating the Trail, we cannot promise a particular venue to any artist. If you have disability requirements you will be able to mention this on your application form and these will, of course, be taken into consideration.

Can I show in my own venue?

Yes, we are always looking for new venues – the more the merrier.  If you have strong feelings about where and how you show your work this could be the best option for you.

Do I choose which artist(s) show in my own domestic venue?

Venue holders are responsible for ‘curating’ the work they show and choosing which member artists to share their venue with. If there are free spaces available just let the Trail Venue Team know when you complete the Trail application form. We will consult with you about what type of art would go well with yours and suggest artists who are in need of a venue, but the final decision is yours.

Is my house a suitable space?

Steyning Arts Trail venues have ranged from gazebos to garages, kitchens to sheds, cabins to barns.  Have a think about which area of your living space you could display your work in or if you know someone who could offer you a space.  Visitors love to see work in a domestic setting which was the whole inspiration for the very first Open Houses in Brighton 50 years ago!  Plan to make some minor adjustments for the two weeks of the Trail such as being extra tidy, moving the TV up to the bedroom, making steps and pathways accessible and hey presto – you have an open house that you can use year after year!

What happens if I am a Steyning Arts member, I don’t have a venue, but I would like to exhibit in the Art Trail?

Information is gathered from the Trail application form where we discover which artists already have venues and which artists are looking for venues. Any artists without a venue will be placed by the Trail Venue Team. Sometimes there are one or two domestic spaces free, sometimes artists have already secured venues by prior arrangement. It is also possible for members to approach High Street businesses/shops to see if they would be willing to exhibit their work. Most members without a venue will be placed in a communal venue. If there is not a place available in the trail the fee will be returned.

Is there any point if my venue is out of town?

We find that artists who put some time and energy into publicising their venue, inviting friends, family and their wider network, have just as positive an experience of the Trail as those with a higher ‘footfall’ due to being in Steyning High Street. Offering refreshments, demonstrations, or other ways to make your venue special will all help. 

How to run a domestic venue

 How many artists should I include in my venue?

This is entirely up to you. It’s all about the space you have available and how you would like to divide it up. Inviting other artists means you can spread the stewarding load across more people. Multi-artist venues can encourage visitors, increase the footfall to your venue. It also means you have to divide the available space between more artists.

What do I have to consider before offering a domestic venue?

Think about entrance and exit arrangements, what spaces you are prepared to open to the public. Ease of access to the spaces, any potential hazards visitors might face such as an uneven path or a broken doorstep. How much available wall space or table space is there which lends itself to exhibiting space. This leads to your decision on the sort of artists that would be suitable to invite into your venue.

What is meant by ‘other venue attractions?’

On the Trail dates there is the option to provide studio demonstrations, talks, refreshments or other interesting events. If you wish to provide any of these attractions, do make sure you have added to your Trail application so that it can be included in the brochure.

How do I invite artists to exhibit in my venue?

If you know any of our member artists, you can approach them directly and ask them if they would like to exhibit in your venue. Another approach would be to scroll through the artist pages on our website and see if there is an artist you would like to approach. Alternatively, when you complete the Art Trail application form you can tell us how many spaces you have and what sort of artists you would us to allocate to you.

How do I manage the artists exhibiting in my venue?

When it’s clear which artists are exhibiting in your venue, arrange a meeting with them. At the meeting clarify expectations with the artists; include discussions about:

  • Agree commission charges to cover décor upkeep in venue
  • Arrange payment of fees to Steyning Arts for any guest artists (members will already have paid)
  • Agree any equipment needs for hanging and displaying works
  • Arrange a date for hanging exhibition, labelling, Artist Statements, list of works with prices
  • Create a stewarding rota and give written copy to artists
  • Divide tasks such as handing out flyers, positioning posters in good locations, posting flyers, hanging venue banners and arrows to venue
  • Decide if you would like to hold a venue private view? Who will arrange and market this event? Who will organise and provide any refreshments if they are needed?
  • Arrangements for collecting money? Do you have a card reader? Paypal? BACs?
  • Complete a risk assessment for your venue and share with your artists
  • Share contact details for WhatsApp group / phone calls / emails in the run up to the Trail
  • If you have Guest Artists in your venue it is your responsibility to pay the Art Trail fees in advance, on their behalf and collect the fees from them yourself before the Trail opens.

What does stewarding a venue entail?

Counting people in and out of your venue (do you need a clicker counter or a tally sheet?), welcoming and actively engaging with visitors by sharing information about the exhibits, introducing the other artists, taking sales of work using your own digital card reader, BAC’s, paypal or cash

How to run a communal venue

Assuming all the same points for running a domestic venue, what else is needed to run a communal venue?

One artist will be appointed ‘team leader’ for the venue and this person will…

  • Arrange for a key to the venue
  • Arrange a meeting for all artists to view the space and agree the terms of engagement using all the notes above for running a domestic venue to lead the discussion.

Fees, Insurance, Health and Safety

How much does it cost to be in the Art Trail?

The participation fee is £40 per artist.  Every artist pays the same fee. These fees will be reimbursed if the event has to be canceled.

How do I pay the fees?

Instructions for payment are within the application form. Some members have already paid fees that are being carried over from the canceled 2020 event. If you are a new member you will need to pay the £40 fee if you wish to exhibit.

Does Steyning Arts take any commission from artists?

Trail fees cover all our admin on-costs and so we don’t take any commission from artists. However, venue holders can decide if they wish to set any additional terms – for example charging commission or asking for a small contribution to cover cleaning or other venue costs.  If you are exhibiting your work in a High Street shop / local business, you are responsible for negotiating the terms with the business owner.

How does stewarding in venues work?

In communal venues an exhibiting artist takes a lead role in coordinating the curation, opening, closing, and rota for stewarding that venue. In domestic venues the venue owner/artist is responsible for arranging a stewarding rota. In a High Street shop/business, venue artists should liaise with the venue owner. It is recommended that you arrange ‘meet the artist’ sessions or stewarding to encourage footfall and support the business.

Insurance Cover 

Steyning Arts provides public liability insurance that covers all venues.  This does not include damage to property, however, or loss or damage to artwork. Arranging insurance to cover these aspects will be the responsibility of each individual artist. The Steyning Arts Venue Team can advise.

Health & Safety – Risk Assessment

All venues and venue stewards will need to adhere to an overarching Art Trail risk assessment and in addition a venue specific risk assessment. There is particular guidance whilst Covid 19 prevails.

Marketing the Art Trail

Trail brochures will be printed and artists will be asked to deliver a quota to a particular area. The Trail will be advertised in local digital and print magazines including Your Steyning, Bramber and Upper Beeding and also on social media.

Dates for your diary

Member Renewal and Art Trail application deadline: Midnight Sunday 30th January.

Art Trail Dates 2022 : Sat 28th, Sun 29th May + Fri 3nd, Sat 4th, Sun 5th June 2022.

Art Trail venue information to artists : Mid-March.

Trail info Collection Date with Q&A : A date in week 2 or 3 of May – will be advised.

Trail celebration : We hope to celebrate the trail at a Steyning
Arts gathering. Date and location to be advised.

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