Our vision is to make art and artists accessible; our mission is to be an exemplar of the democratisation of artistic expression and our values are those of a true labour of love.
Encounters 2019 Edition
It has been a decade since Encounters became an Open House. This milestone has provoked much reflection. Why is Encounters important? What did we do? What are the characteristics of a successful Open House?
The book Encountering Encounters tells how our Open House was created with the goal of sharing an artistic dream with the people that visit the Brighton Festival each year. Our intent was to bring exceptional artists from overseas to mingle with local artists and makers, thereby creating opportunities for encounters that would not otherwise occur. We sought to facilitate encounters through the appreciation of art, thereby forging new connections between people.
Encounters’ mission is to make a distinctive contribution to a city that is imbued with a deep artistic culture. Encounters believes in the democratisation of art. Today, this can be realised in new ways. The art Industry is impacted by social and technological innovation, creating never-before-available opportunities.
We strive to be a trend-setting pioneer in bringing innovation practices to enrich encounters between viewers, artists, galleries, institutions and collectors. We use unusual art settings and adopt an inclusive curatorial practice to promote social engagement. We recognise that institutions and galleries play a vital role in art appreciation but they can be distant and overwhelming.
Encounters is committed to fight against a belief that the appreciation of art is an elitist pursuit confined to a privileged few.
This vision, mission and values have enchanted many visitors. Encounters is the most consistently successful Open House in the 35-year history of the Artists Open House Movement, being the winner or in the top three of all open houses for five years in a row. More than 10.000 visitors have enjoyed a unique blend of local and international work. In all, 56 artists from 20 countries have shown a vast and eclectic range of artwork and curated art educational projects.
Many of Encounters’ artists come from Latin America, where there is a vibrant, exciting and dynamic art scene. They have brought a new artistic life force to Hove and mingle with our talented local artists who gain from being part of an international show.
Encounters has developed beyond the Brighton Festival. In 2015 a new venture, Encounters-on-the-Road, was launched to work with kindred spirits and co-create inclusive art experiences in different parts of the World. Encounters-on-the-Road has shown work from leading Latin American artists in an exhibition in Busan, Korea and, more recently other galleries in the UK and Europe.
About Miladys Parejo
Miladys Parejo is the Director of Encounters and an installation artist in her own right. She developed a distinctive and liberating vision, mission and values for the Art Space. Miladys drove Encounters forward by finding a unique group of talented people and facilitating a release of their creative energies. Her ability as a curator has been critical to Encounters’ success. She creates fascinating juxtapositions of works so that visiting Encounters’ show becomes quite an experience.
Miladys believes that art is not a thing apart but the result of encounters between creative people who are nourished by meeting like minded other people. Hence, Encounters is based on the principle that a special form of energy is created when people engage in a shared search for the expression of their own artistic truth.
You can learn more about Miladys’ work as an installation artist here.