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The Jerwood Gallery, soon to become Hastings Contemporary.

The Jerwood Gallery, soon to become Hastings Contemporary.

Jerwood to relaunch in July as Hastings Contemporary

Seven years after opening on the historic Stade on the seafront in Hastings, the director and trustees of Jerwood Gallery today announce that on 6 July the gallery will relaunch as Hastings Contemporary – a new, independent, modern and contemporary art gallery backed by a philanthropic donation of £250,000. The gallery reports.

Since opening in 2012, the Jerwood Gallery has built an acclaimed exhibition programme and has been a cornerstone of the cultural renaissance of Hastings, welcoming over 300,000 visitors. Hastings Contemporary will have a refreshed curatorial direction under its founding director, Liz Gilmore, and an expanded programme which will explore all forms of modern and contemporary art, as well as continuing to champion the medium of painting, for which it has built a strong reputation.

The opening programme will feature new works by the contemporary international painter, Tal R, alongside the acclaimed British painter, Roy Oxlade, and works by Oxlade’s tutor David Bomberg. All these artists are credited with influencing generations of painters.

As part of the relaunch, artist patron Sir Quentin Blake will present a series of new drawings. Later programming will include works by Varda Caivano, Anne Ryan and Victor Willing. A full programme of activity will be announced later in the year.

Rich artistic heritage

Hastings Contemporary will reflect the town’s independent spirit, drawing on the rich artistic heritage of Hastings and the South East and engaging with the town’s growing creative community. It will take over the space previously given over to the exhibition of the Jerwood Collection, creating additional space for exhibitions and new opportunities to explore connections between history and the present.

Hastings Contemporary will cultivate a greater national and international profile through landmark exhibitions and by commissioning new work. It will also forge new partnerships, building on previous successful collaborations with national museums and collections, including the Tate, the Royal Academy and the National Gallery and significant private collections.

“Hastings Contemporary will bring dynamic, museum-quality art to Hastings,” said Ms Gilmore. “We want to encourage new ways of looking – contrasting historic works with today’s artists, showing works in a range of media, and celebrating both national and international practitioners.

other jerwood 350“Our programme will take advantage of the entire building, and we are thrilled at the prospect of inviting ever wider audiences to come and experience art by the sea. We are delighted to have secured a generous donation in support of the opening of Hastings Contemporary.

“The support of the Jerwood Foundation and Hastings Borough Council and more recently, Arts Council England, has enabled a remarkable institution to come to life over the last seven years, in a beautiful setting, and we’re all excited about its future.”


“The opportunity for everyone to access, enjoy and be inspired by great art and culture is hugely important to the Arts Council,” said Hedley Swain, executive director of Arts Council England East and SE. “We recognise the huge contribution that has been made by the Jerwood Foundation and the ongoing commitment of Hastings Borough Council to develop the town’s cultural offer.

“Hastings Contemporary has a key role to play in continuing to build on this, ensuring that both the local community and visitors to the town can enjoy great art. This is an important moment for the gallery, and I look forward to seeing it going from strength to strength.”

Hastings Borough Council leader Peter Chowney commented: “Jerwood Gallery has become a well-established attraction in Hastings. It has been a cornerstone of the borough’s cultural regeneration programme, helping to establish Hastings as one of the key cultural centres of the south coast.

“I welcome its relaunch as the newly-independent Hastings Contemporary gallery and look forward to its future programme of exciting and challenging art, to draw attention to Hastings and the vibrant creative culture that has become the hallmark of our town.”

“I could never have imagined, many years ago when I bought my ancient house in Hastings, that one day there would be an art gallery a few minutes’ walk away at the end of the street; brilliantly contemporary, but at the same time harmonising with its unique site on the Stade,” said Sir Quentin Blake, artist patron of Hastings Contemporary.

“Nor that it would have such a perceptive and skilled director as Liz Gilmore. Her ambitions for the gallery and her enterprising programme of exhibitions has given a new attraction and interest to Hastings and those who live there; and, more personally, she has inspired me to set about a new range of exploratory work that I might otherwise never have embarked on.”

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Posted 18:53 Wednesday, Mar 27, 2019 In: Arts News


Please read our comment guidelines before posting on HOT

  1. Ms.Doubtfire

    Good point made by Chris Lewcock: if you want to visit the cafe you have to pay an entrance fee to the gallery. This is grossly unfair and needs to change. I hope the newly formed gallery will be successful and perhaps not quite so elitist.

    Comment by Ms.Doubtfire — Thursday, Mar 28, 2019 @ 20:55

  2. Chris Lewcock

    Good luck, we won’t want to lose it. Hoping that there will be increased access for locals without having to be Members and that everybody can get at and pay for coffee and cakes in the café (and create a bit more income) without necessarily having to be a Member or paying to enter the gallery.

    Comment by Chris Lewcock — Thursday, Mar 28, 2019 @ 14:42

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