By Amber Rudd
The Jerwood Foundation is to work with Hastings Borough Council to explore the opportunity and potential for a new gallery in Hastings which would house the main body of the Jerwood Art Collection and receive temporary exhibitions. Jerwood and Hastings are exploring the feasibility of the options and working closely with local partners to develop this exciting and important project.
The gallery would allow the Jerwood Art Collection of 20th and 21st century British art to be displayed in public for the first time. The gallery would also include space for temporary exhibitions including exhibitions from the Jerwood Visual Arts programme and work developed with local partners.
Alan Grieve, Chairman of the Jerwood Foundation has stated: “We are very pleased to be working with Hastings on this major project for the Foundation. We are very appreciative for the support shown by Hastings Borough Council, the Foreshore Trust and other local partners and we look forward to exploring the potential to site our new gallery in Hastings. We By Amber Rudd
Good news for Hastings – in January 2008 the Jerwood Foundation announced that it would be “working with Hastings Borough Council” to formulate a plan to build a new art gallery to house their collection of 20th and 21st century art in Hastings. They had looked at other sites, but their choice has settled on Hastings.
The Jerwood Foundation was formed in 1977 and is a benefactor to education, music and more recently the arts, particularly seeking to support UK artists. This is good news for Hastings on two fronts – 1) it will reinforce Hastings growing reputation as a town with cutting edge arts projects and artists, and 2) provide an added attraction for visitors deciding on where to go for a holiday or day trip.
The Jerwood Foundation would build the gallery, believed to be in a site in the Old Town and are now conducting a feasibility study and discussing other terms with the council. The council and residents are in favour of this new added attraction to Hastings. The primary purpose would be to house their collection – by modern artists such as Craigie Atchison, Sir Stanley Spencer and DS Lowry. But there would also be an opportunity for local artists to show case their work in temporary exhibition space in the new gallery as well. Stuart Padget, a resident of 3 years in the Old Town Hastings, told me, “It’s a really positive part of the regeneration of Hastings, and we would welcome the Jerwood Foundation with open arms,” The residents are enthusiastic about the prospect.
Now it is up to the Council to work with the Foundation to sort out a feasibility study and to ensure that their choice of Hastings remains the compelling and final decision. Much of the talk about regeneration in Hastings focuses on offices, shopping arcades, and facilities. But a modern art gallery, with work previously un-shown publicly, that is available to all would be a fantastic contribution to the cultural well being of the whole town. Bring it on!
Hastings Town March 2008
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