New art gallery aims to be inclusive, affordable and community minded

At Last it's spring by John Hurford
At Last it's spring by John Hurford

See Spray is a new gallery and art shop opening to the public at 153-154 Queens Road on June 4.

The aim is to bring original contemporary art to Hastings and to engage the local community with creative and fun workshops and events for all ages and abilities.

Curator Ella Matthews said: “We aim to be affordable, inclusive, innovative and community minded.

“We will include work in varied styles and mediums including but not limited to Urban, Street, Pop, Psychedelic, Hyperrealistic, Graphic and Modern art, in paintings, collage, print, photography and sculpture.

“We can offer space for the community to engage in artistic pursuits through the use of the large open plan public space and shop downstairs, and shop floor/community space upstairs.

“We will have six to seven solo shows a year on one side of the gallery, a collection of varied artists including local talent in the ongoing group show on the opposite side of the gallery, as well as gift ideas such as prints, art books and greeting cards, and good-quality art supplies for local artists.

“Hastings has always been full of artistic talent but there is a lack of space for local art enthusiasts and artists to come together, create, talk about and display their work.

“ We are excited to be able to provide room to do so. This project is the first of its kind and we hope to get the local community involved as well as attract attention from the wider art scene.’

The first solo show will be by local artist Tom Bartlett. His satirical and thought-provoking collages have been snapped up by collectors for the last 20 years. Other artists on board include John Hurford, a psychedelic artist who has been painting prolifically since the 60s, award-winning artist Alexandra Gallagher, whose work has been shown internationally including at the Saatchi Gallery, and Sue Tilley, a local artist who was immortalised in a painting by Lucien Freud that made history by becoming the most expensive work of art ever sold by a living artist.

Ella continued: “Prices start at £2.50 for a colourful greetings card to £8000 for an original painting, all contemporary art lovers will find something looks great on their walls and will start many a conversation.”