Hundreds of visitors flocked to the first-ever Crystal Palace Artists Open House at the weekend – and there’s more to come!
Coopers Yard off Westow Hill (down the side of the Iceland store) had at least 500 visitors. Similar numbers ‘invaded’ the yellow house on Church Road opposite the Queens hotel where Anna Jacobs – whose idea it was – and other artists were exhibiting both downstairs and upstairs – and will be again this weekend.

Anna hopes people will venture a little further out for the second weekend.

“The sense I got from the visitors coming round was that they were really enjoying it as a community event” she told News From Crystal Palace.

“Not only were they getting to see inside houses they have walked past or jogged past for years, but they were also meeting neighbours they hadn’t met before.

“It really brings the community together more. “That was the feeling of it. “And I’ve had some really lovely emails from artists saying they’re just thrilled.”

A whistle-stop tour on Sunday by News From Crystal Palace round some of the venues on (and off) the Triangle and Church Road started at 11 Church Road where Tom Cox’s works included Stage Door, the Imperial War Museum and paintings of three local pubs. At the same address George Lindsell was exhibiting 160 photographs of New York on a slide show – on a 48-inch TV screen including New York in the snow and one of Radio City.

At the bottom of Coopers Yard (which is down the side of the Iceland store on Westow Hill) you’ll find an arrow pointing off to photography where you can see Andy Bate’s brilliant ‘smoke-bombed’ ballerinas.

Image by Andy Bate

Coopers Yard is also destined to become something of a local tourist attraction (if it isn’t already). Have a look this coming weekend and you’ll see what we mean.

Image by Coopers Yard

Gipsy Hill Workshops at the end of Paddock Passage off Westow Street was only opened for the first weekend but here you could find hand-painted signs by Eddie Bird and Boadicea Decorative Antiques who use the studios as workshops and can also be found at Crystal Palace Antiques and Modern in Jasper Road off Westow Hill.

Then it was onwards and upwards – to the first floor above Smash Bang Wallop at 40 Westow Street where Madeleine Hill, who normally works from her studio near Penge West station, is exhibiting a variety of “playful” works including a cockerel with a billiard ball, a penguin with bunting and budgerigars with a party ring biscuit.

Image by Madeleine Hill

“I really like people looking at the images and trying to develop a narrative about what’s going on in the image” she said. Visitors to the first floor can also see what Smash Bang Wallop have in store….

Round to Marty Jessup’s home at 134 Church Road where one image stood out: a smiling postman. There was also a portrait of Ashley while local views include the Brown and Green café at the top of Belvedere Road; a house on Haynes Lane; Blackbird Bakery and Bookseller Crow which are both on Westow Street, a triptych from Crystal Palace park and, further afield, a Morocco village.

“I’ve had so many people come in and say Crystal Palace is so creative” said Marty, who designed the Artists Open House logo. “A lot of them have recognised the places I’ve painted – and it’s just so nice to meet people.”

Marty, who has a studio on Haynes Lane, added: “It’s great that Anna has organised this – and I’m very pleased to be part of it.” Marty’s house is open again this weekend.

Image by Yi Lin

Then it was down to 122 Auckland Road and Yi Lin’s amazing digitised artworks. “I draw the patterns by hand, digitise them and then change the colours.” Then it was back up through Stambourne Woods to the yellow house opposite the Queen’s hotel – which is to the left as you reach Church Road – where 10 artists, including Anna Jacobs, are exhibiting.

At a pre-launch party held at Do South on the corner of Westow Street and Central Hill last Wednesday – 16 weeks to the day after Anna put a post on Crystal Palace Local Facebook to see if there was any interest in staging a Crystal Palace Artists Open House – Anna thanked Beth Mander from the Paxton arts centre on Anerley Hill (“a rock from the very beginning”) – and Glen Keegan from Just Giclee in Stoney Lane:

“He has almost become my right-hand man. “He found our sponsors Martin and Co in just five minutes. “I was totally gobsmacked. “On some days I rang him more than once and he just answered: ‘Anna Jacobs hotline’,”

There were also thanks to Nico Smirnoff for organising the public relations while guests were told “You shouldn’t underestimate what a big contribution Martin and Co have made. “They are installing and taking down all the boards outside the venues.”

Among many others thanked were Liz Clamp at Smash Bang Wallop who was “really critical in telling us who to speak to at Croydon council”; Andy Stem of Bambino on Church Road; home owners who aren’t exhibiting – but who have lent their homes so artists can exhibit and Gavin Rookledge who runs Coopers Yard: “If you haven’t been round it, you’ve got to go. “It’s almost like walking into a Harry Potter world.”

And there was one final thanks from Anna, who moved from Dulwich to Crystal Palace only six months ago: “I thank all of you for welcoming me into the community.”

Drinks for the evening were sponsored by Joe from the Joe Lounge bar on Church Road opposite the Everyman cinema while flowers were provided by Moxie and Myrtle who have a ‘pop up’ flower school in Coopers Yard and who run flower workshops at local businesses. Please visit where you can read a bit more about them.


DATES: Artists Open House takes place again on Saturday 4th May and Sunday 5th May from 11 am to 6pm on each day. Free brochures listing all the venues are available at various shops cafes, etc around the Triangle. Some artists  participated only on the first weekend, some are only participating on the second weekend.

The event is free for visitors and open to everyone. 

Follow the Crystal Palace Artists’ Open House on Facebook: Crystal Palace Artists Open House; on Twitter: @PalaceOpen ‏and Instagram: @artistsopenhouse.crystalpalace

Crystal Palace: Accessible from Brixton, by Bus 3.

By trains: Brixton to Sydenham Hill, 15 minutes.
Victoria to Crystal Palace, via Gipsy Hill – 28 minutes
London Bridge to Crystal Palace, via Gipsy Hill – 30 minutes
West Croydon to Crystal Palace, via Norwood Junction – 13 minutes

For full details on the artists exhibiting please visit:

LOOK FOR THE LOGO!: There will be Martin and Co estate agent boards outside each venue, all featuring the Artists Open House logo:

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