Jerwood becomes Hastings Contemporary, the beach gallery

The Jerwood Gallery, opened in 2012 and purpose-built on the historic waterfront Stade at Hastings to hold the Jerwood Foundation’s collection of British Art, reopens tomorrow (July 6) as Hastings Contemporary.

The new gallery, still directed by Liz Gilmore who ran the Jerwood Gallery from its inception, aims to be the centre of contemporary and modern art for South-East England, and begins with two new exhibitions by the painters Tai R and Roy Oxlade.

Hastings Contemporary, a charity in its own right, is supported by the Arts Council as a national portfolio organisation with £100,00 a year. “The opening of Hastings Contemporary marks a new chapter for a gallery that has already made a big impact in the life of the town and has won a reputation for presenting exciting shows in its award-winning building” said ACE’s chair Sir Nicholas Serota.

Since 2012 the gallery, which won an RIBA award for its architect, has built a name for itself through its exhibitions programme, often in partnership with national institutions such as Tate and the National Gallery, but now without the Jerwood collection to show it will be able to offer a broader range of exhibitions.

The gallery also has the support of Quentin Blake, a Hastings resident, who becomes its first artist patron. He has a new exhibition there, Quentin Blake: The New Dress, which is a series of delicate sketchbook drawings of characters exploring transformation and structure of the gallery.

“We are excited to launch Hastings Contemporary with major exhibitions of Tal R and Roy Oxlade alongside one-room display of David Bomberg (who had been Oxlade’s teacher) and our artist patron Sir Quentin Blake” said Liz Gilmore. “The extraordinary talents, abundant creativity and intuitive approach of each artist fly the flag for painting. We’re excited to be launching this new chapter in Hastings history and to continue to bring world-class exhibitions to our cherished sea-side town.” 

The Jerwood withdrew its support for the gallery earlier this year over a disagreement on fundraising, and the collection, which contains works by Frank Brangwyn, David Bomberg, Augustus John, Stanley Spencer, L S Lowry, Craigie Aitchison and Maggie Hambling, was withdrawn.


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