Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper
Arches Printmaking Studio CIC

Screen printing at The Arches Printmaking Studio.

Anniversary: a year on down The Arches 

An article to celebrate the brainchild of Esther Johnson, who responded to a gap in the market by creating an independent, fully equipped, printmaking studio – the first of its kind in Hastings. A year on, just as promised, The Arches Printmaking Studio CIC (Community Interest Company) has become a valuable resource for local artists and the whole community, writes HOT’s Siobhan O’Hanlon

Arches Printmaking Studio CIC

It has been a complete thrill for Esther, as new people have joined using the space as practitioners and annual key holders and for all those students taking part in the many classes on offer, which include screen printing, etching, mono-type, photo/solar plate etching, collagraph, lino and wood-cut printing. The feedback from all is undeniably positive; many participants have been overjoyed and inspired by the classes taught this past year by tutors Marc Greco, Myles Calvert, Amanda Averillo and Jane Beecham; new tutors are joining all the time, Paula MacArthur will soon be there.

Being tutored by knowledgeable, talented and experienced printmakers alongside small group sizes has resulted in quality one-to-one tuition – and with everything on offer from one-two day refresher workshops to ongoing weekly courses, there is something for everyone. With students travelling from as far afield as Ashford and Brighton, it is clear the facilities, pricing and the overall ambience and friendliness of the Arches offer a warm welcome to all ages and abilities.

Such is the attraction of The Arches’ facilities and location that a welcome addition to its family dynamic is the studio’s new resident, Ben Duarri, aka the Screen Prince. Ben is best known for his calligram screen prints of numerous famous musicians, and most notably for his portrait of Jay-Z, which was commissioned by the infamous rapper/recording artist/producer himself. Ben is currently working on an album cover for the acclaimed urban jazz musician and producer Frédéric Yonnet.

This year’s plans include reaching out to those who have not previously had the chance to try printmaking. With a number of projects in the pipeline, many are now coming to fruition. 

Arches Printmaking Studio CICEsther’s vision of CIC open-access studio facilities and courses for the community through social outreach projects for the disadvantaged and vulnerable – with an emphasis on special needs, disability and mental ill-health – has led to discussions with Hastings Voluntary Action and is central to the ethos of the Arches. Esther has registered with Southdown East Sussex Community Links Service, an organization supporting people disadvantaged within a broad spectrum to operate in mainstream arts projects, without being ostracised.

This is a celebration of how the community and local business have worked together to create something that will go on to help others in the community, and not just the artistic community.

Esther is also keen to involve young people and took part in the creative café in St Leonard’s Academy hosting a printmaking workshop and talking to young people about the opportunities available within the creative industry. She has recruited two young volunteer interns and would like to take on an apprentice, a position for which she is currently making funding applications, having already succeeded with a £10,000 grant from the Arts Council to start up The Arches. This would be a welcome addition and provide an exciting employment opportunity for local young people.

Arches Printmaking Studio CIC

Esther wants you to get involved, and is interested in hearing from other agencies wanting to be part of social outreach programmes; or you, if you are an artist with tuition skills, offering new and varied courses or seeking a residency or artist placement and offering skills with assisting with the Arches’ website development; or if you are a local business wishing to make links with your products, services or advertising, or offering sponsorship, including obtaining original art works or employing Arches’ artists to develop your marketing.

She is also seeking more support from Hastings Borough Council to enable this valuable and vital resource to play a part in the regeneration of Hastings and all its cultural links, with a view to a show at the Jerwood Gallery in a few years’ time, to truly bring the work of The Arches’ artists out to the people.

Arches Printmaking Studio CIC

All courses are advertised on Facebook.

The Arches Facebook page here

Contact Esther via email :

The Arches Printmaking CIC, 1 Linton Arch, 22 Braybrooke Terrace, Hastings, TN34 1TD.

Find out more about Mark Greco, workshop tutor here.

Find out more about Ben Duarri, aka The Screen Prince, here and here.

And a great example of how local business can support other local businesses and community projects: here’s a huge THANK YOU to you Westoaks Builders from the Arches.

arches logo
arts council


If you’re enjoying HOT and would like us to continue providing fair and balanced reporting on local matters please consider making a donation. Click here to open our PayPal donation link. Thank you for your continued support!

Posted 11:50 Saturday, Mar 22, 2014 In: Public Arts

1 Comment

  1. Patricia Cottew snook

    Good luck to this excellent enterprise…more are needed like this to support struggling artists.

    Comment by Patricia Cottew snook — Saturday, Mar 29, 2014 @ 08:50

Also in: Public Arts

More HOT Stuff

    HOT is run by volunteers but has overheads for hosting and web development. Support HOT!


    Advertise your business or your event on HOT for as little as £20 per month
    Find out more…


    If you like HOT and want to keep it sustainable, please Donate via PayPal, it’s easy!


    Do you want to write, proofread, edit listings or help sell advertising? then contact us


    Get our regular digest emails

  • Subscribe to HOT