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Hastings Museum & Art Gallery reopens!

Hastings Museum & Art Galley returns with their post-lockdown exhibition called ‘Hastings Open 2020’, celebrating some of the region’s best artistic talent, alongside national and international work, writes HOT’s Vanessa Alves.

The new exhibition will feature 91 artworks including painting, photography, sculpture, printmaking, embroidery, ceramics and video. The artwork was selected by a panel of judges consisting of artist-maker Ellen Prebble, Kate Adams, CEO of Project Art Works, Patrick Jones of Project 78 Gallery, Kenton Lowe of blackShed Gallery and Ben Urban, curator of Flatland Project. It will run until 3 January 2021.

Patrick Jones commented,

“I think that the eclectic nature of the Hastings Open is a great way to follow on from last year’s Tom Hunter exhibition in attracting a new audience. Hastings Museum is our museum and we should use it more!’’

Covid secure

After receiving Visit Britain’s ‘We’re Good to Go’ certification and being recognised as a Covid secure attraction, the Hastings Museum and Art Gallery  are delighted welcome to visitors again from today, Thursday 27 August. The museum will be open each week from Thursday to Sunday, 10am–12.30pm and 2–5pm.

This has been achieved by implementing measures such as a one-way route, to allow people to explore the fascinating building and collections safely. Hand sanitiser stations have been placed throughout the museum; extra cleaning routines are in place, including for the toilets, and visitors will be encouraged to maintain social distancing. Visitors must also wear a facemask while in the museum. Reusable and washable facemasks will be available to purchase on entry.

To manage the number of people in the museum at any one time, all visitors will need to book a free timed ticket in advance. This can be done online up to 14 days in advance through their website. If visitors do not have access to the internet, they can book by phoneon01424 451052.

There will be a reduced number of bookable tickets available on Sunday afternoons between 2pm and 5pm. This is to help reduce the numbers of visitors in the museum further and create a perfect time for those who are nervous about visiting or fall into the most vulnerable group to visit.

Prizewinner

In The Wind by Monika Veriopoulos – Charcoal on paper

The inaugural Hastings Open prize was awarded to Monika Veriopoulos for her charcoal work, In the Wind. The judges were impressed by the depth of the work and subtle layers within it. The prize includes a research residency at Hastings Museum & Art Gallery and solo exhibition at blackShed Gallery in 2021.

Kenton Lowe of blackShed Gallery said,

“I have been delighted to be involved in this project, and there has never been a greater need to support the cultural and creative sector.

“With a rise in popularity of artists emerging from the south east of England, over the last 10 years the blackShed has provided a varied programme of exhibitions. I wanted to broaden our experience by collaborating with other partners, whilst we explore working with artists in other ways. The Museum has great heritage and I am very excited to work with the winning artist on their solo show at the blackShed next year.”

Councillor Colin Fitzgerald, lead cabinet member for Regeneration, Culture and Tourism said,   “We are delighted to be able to safely open our popular museum again. The safety of our visitors and staff remains a priority and a lot of hard work has gone into putting these new measures in place, to comply with government guidance.

“You will notice we have made a few changes including a new one-way route to assist social distancing. Visitors will also have to wear a face mask when inside the museum, to help keep everyone safe. Our friendly staff will be on hand for support to help visitors to enjoy themselves safely. Don’t forget to book your free timed tickets before visiting.”

Kate Adams, artist and CEO of Project Art Works, said,

“During this extraordinary period of contagion and Black Lives Matter, the process of looking at and making decisions about 100s of artworks, all of which were created in another time and place was both challenging and hopeful. It was a strange, slightly disembodied experience – being so removed from detailed knowledge of any of the artists and just responding to work after work ranging in intent, medium, content, aesthetic etc.

“What was interesting was the way in which the whole began to determine decisions about individual works and how they interacted with the evolving ‘collection’ as it became more concentrated.”

Penguin by Peter Jones – Oil on canvas

About Hastings Museum and Art Gallery

Hastings Museum & Art Gallery is a family-friendly museum with amazingly diverse collections; there really is something for everyone! The museum was established over 125 years ago and has always offered people the opportunity to explore art, culture and history from around the world.

It is free to visit with free onsite parking. A number of artworks will be available for purchase, with the sales of these benefiting both the artists and the museum.

Ben Urban, artist and curator, Flatland Project explained,

“It has been extremely exciting to be able to gain a perspective of the breadth of creative practice that Hastings Museum has brought together through the open call. Hastings has a history of needing.”

For full details on opening hours and how to book your free tickets go to the website.

To find out more details about Hastings Museum & Art Gallery programmes follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

Posted 16:07 Thursday, Aug 27, 2020 In: Public Arts

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