Jerwood Gallery to be renamed and relaunched

Simon Stephens, 27.03.2019
Change follows dispute with sponsor
The Jerwood Gallery in East Sussex is to be relaunched as Hastings Contemporary.

The change of name follows a dispute with its sponsor, the Jerwood Foundation, which has provided the venue with grants worth £2.6m since it opened in the seaside town in 2012. The dispute centred on concerns about future funding and will lead to the Jerwood Collection, a 300-strong collection of modern British art, leaving the gallery in the summer.

The gallery was originally built to house the collection, which was collected by Alan Grieve, the chairman of the Jerwood Foundation. Hastings Contemporary will use the space previously given over to displaying the Jerwood Collection to creating additional room for exhibitions.

The venue, which now describes itself as an independent gallery for south-east England, has received an anonymous donation of £250,000 to kick off its relaunch. The gallery will open as Hastings Contemporary on 6 July with a presentation by international contemporary painter Tal R and British artist Roy Oxlade.

“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,” said Liz Gilmore, the director of Hastings Contemporary, who has been at the venue since it opened in 2012. “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 we’re all excited about its future.”

Hastings Borough Council leader Peter Chowney said: “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.”

The gallery became a charity in 2017, the same year it joined the arts council’s group of regularly funded National Portfolio Organisations.

The Jerwood Foundation was established by Grieve for businessman and philanthropist John Jerwood in 1977. Hastings Contemporary will remain a tenant of the foundation, which owns the £5m building.

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