Oslo Open started in the year 2000 as an initiative by artists who were looking for an alternative to the contemprary art scene outside the big art instiututions and established galleries. With two hundred signatures from artists living and working in Oslo and the support of a few representatives from art institutions, they created Oslo Open: an «open» meeting point between contemporary art, artists and the general public.
The Oslo Open concept consists of artists opening the doors to their own studios and inviting the public in to view their work and work processes in a relaxed and informal setting.
Over the years this concept has developed and now includes additional elements such as art in public space, video art and performance, as well as workshops, sound installations and artist talks.
Oslo Open has been a small but gradually evolving grassroots arts festival. From 2000 to 2007 the amount of attending artists has increased from 270 to 416, in over 90 studios. During Oslo Open 2007, 15,000 visitors were registered.