Hastings Contemporary

Situated on the dramatic seafront of Europe’s oldest fishing beach, Hastings Contemporary – formerly the Jerwood Gallery – champions modern and contemporary art with a bold and ambitious exhibition programme, showing works by historically important and internationally renowned artists, and emerging practitioners, as well as exploring the rich cultural history of artists from the South East. While embracing all forms of art, the gallery has built a strong reputation for its focus on painting and Modern British art.

The building was designed by HAT Projects and completed in 2012. A sensitive response to its context of the fishing beach, listed net huts and medieval Old Town, the gallery has received a number of architectural awards including a RIBA National Award, Civic Trust Award, Sussex Heritage Trust Award and reached the mid list for the Stirling Prize.

Hastings Contemporary hosts several exhibitions a year, plus an exciting array of talks, workshops, community events and live music.

#HastingsContemporary #ArtOnSea

Image ©Hastings Contemporary

The Team

We are a small but ambitious team working across Learning, Development, Communications, Marketing, Curation, Front of House, Membership, Public Programming and Retail. We are:

Liz Gilmore, Director
Kim Kish, Director of Operations
Anna McCrickard, Commercial & Events Manager
John Murray, Learning Manager
Will Barrett, Communications & Marketing Manager
Rowan Bunney, Visitor Services Manager
Suzy Trevethan, Visitor Services & Membership Coordinator

Contact us on:
+44(0)1424 728377

Image ©Hastings Contemporary

Quentin Blake, Artist Patron

“I am constantly distracted by Hastings in the most enjoyable way” – Sir Quentin Blake

We are honoured that Sir Quentin Blake is the first Artist Patron of Hastings Contemporary.

Universally regarded as one of the world’s greatest artists and illustrators, Blake has a long association with Hastings (his house in Hastings Old Town is only a short hop from the gallery) and he has been a high-profile supporter of Hastings Contemporary ever since it first opened to the public in 2012 as Jerwood Gallery.

Of first coming to Hastings, Blake has said: “It’s medieval practically – I’ve come to love it … over the years I’ve illustrated books there and it’s got more interesting over time, with the arrival of the Hastings Storytelling Festival and Hastings Contemporary”.

The sea is a constant presence in Blake’s work, and as his very own seaside home-from-home, Hastings Contemporary has created dedicated space for showing Quentin Blake’s artwork that can be enjoyed all year round as part of the gallery’s diverse exhibitions programme, with several new, bespoke shows of his work opening each year. Previous shows have included Moonlight Travellers, Dedicated Readers, Feet in Water, Airborne, The Only Way to Travel, and We Live in Worrying Times.

For Sir Quentin, collaborating with Hastings Contemporary has opened up new possibilities in his work, prompting him to explore new approaches and themes – such as migration, mental health, and other aspects of our lives – in the knowledge that the results will find themselves “sympathetically shown in this extraordinary gallery … They are truly pictures for Hastings Contemporary.” 

1066 Country

Find a cosy country pub with an open fire in winter. Taste a pint, or two, of the local brew. Enjoy a plate of scallops from Rye Bay or some salty Romney Marsh lamb. Relax on a terrace overlooking the seafront in summer, gulls crying overhead, the light dazzling the water. Seek out the quirky and the off-beat shops in the winding cobbled streets, pick up a souvenir to remember the moment.

We are proud to be a part of 1066 Country – there is much to discover.

Walk along the beach and have a cup of tea, your fish and chips warm in your hands, the fresh air on your face. Take in a vineyard tour, taste some sparkling wine from the very land you’re standing on, check out the local produce in the craft breweries and farm shops.

It’s our chefs and shopkeepers, our farmers and fishermen, our winemakers and brewers, our bakers and basketmakers who make the difference here. Their craft makes the products of our land and sea legendary.

Set at the foot of the country park, Hastings has a diverse offering for traditional fishing fleet, seaside resort, winding Old Town and a creative outpost. An alternative art and music scene that draws attention from far corners of the country.

We are proudly Hastings.


Hastings Contemporary’s vibrant volunteer team supports the gallery in its roles as a cultural hub for Hastings and as a key part of the South East’s network of coastal galleries.  We believe that the mutual exchange of time and skills benefits both gallery and volunteers.

Our volunteers play a vital role in the gallery’s daily operations, helping to ensure a positive and welcoming environment for our visitors, facilitating visitor engagement with our exhibitions and learning programmes, and helping our visitors to feel at home in the gallery space.  In turn, they develop experience and knowledge through playing their part in the Hastings Contemporary team.

If you are interested in art, learning, sharing knowledge on our exhibitions, or gaining experience in a gallery setting, volunteering at Hastings Contemporary could be for you.  Roles include Gallery Steward, Learning and Education Assistant, and Tour Guide.

Image ©Hastings Contemporary


Hastings Contemporary’s Gallery Stewards work with the Visitor Services Manager and the Front of House team to deliver a positive and engaging experience of Hastings Contemporary to all of our visitors and Members. To find out more and apply, download the Gallery Steward application form here.


Our Learning and Education volunteers support the Learning Manager and Artist Educators in delivering an educational experience for young people and children, through our successful learning programme.

To find out more and apply, download the Learning and Education Assistant application form here.


Volunteer tour guides work individually and as a group on the lead up to an exhibition opening to deliver bespoke group tour to up to up to 15 visitors. This is a rewarding role that not only develops deeper insight and understanding of our exhibitions programme, but also educates our visitors and Members, usually sparking creative conversation.

To find out more and apply, download the Tour Guide application form here.

Image L: ©Lens & Pixel. Image M: ©Lens & Pixel. Image R: Hastings Contemporary

If you’d like to find out more about the existing roles, or you’re not sure what you’d like to do but you’d like to get involved, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Visitor Services Manager, who can help you come to a decision.

For more information about volunteering, please contact our Visitor Services Manager, Rowan Bunney on rowan@hastingscontemporary.org

We look forward to connecting with you.


We rely on ticket sales to keep going, so please consider a donation to help us continue to inspire our local and creative communities.

All donations gratefully received. Thank you.

Click here to donate via our JustGiving page

Hastings Contemporary membership starts at £27

Join us today for unlimited access to the best in modern and contemporary art, exclusive offers and events, discounts, priority booking, and more … from as little cost as one cup of coffee a month.

Become part of one of the fastest growing arts communities in the South East.

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