Seven years after opening on the historic Stade on the seafront in Hastings, the Director and Trustees of Jerwood Gallery
today announce that the gallery will become Hastings Contemporary - a new, independent modern and contemporary art gallery.
Since opening in 2012, the 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 Jerwood Gallerys founding Director, Liz Gilmore. Hasting Contemporarys expanded programme 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 Oxlades 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.
Hastings Contemporary will reflect the towns independent spirit, drawing on the rich artistic heritage of Hastings and the South East and engaging with the towns 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 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 Tate, the Royal Academy and the National Gallery and significant private collections.
Liz Gilmore, Director, said: Hastings Contemporary will bring dynamic, museum-quality art to Hastings. We want to encourage new ways of looking - contrasting historic works with todays artists, showing works in a range of media, and celebrating both national and international practitioners. 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 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 were all excited about its future.
Hedley Swain, Executive Director of Arts Council England East and SE said: The opportunity for everyone to access, enjoy and be inspired by great art and culture is hugely important to the Arts Council. We recognise the huge contribution that has been made by the Jerwood Foundation and the ongoing commitment of Hastings Borough Council to develop the towns 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.
Sir Quentin Blake, Artist Patron of Hastings Contemporary said: 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. 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.