The Coastal Culture Trail links 3 award winning galleries in East Sussex with 18 miles of coastline. The trail encourages visitors to enjoy their stay in the area by supporting local businesses, sampling local food, taking sustainable transport and enjoying contemporary art. The trail was launched in 2013 with the support of East Sussex County Council and continues thanks to the support of our Funders.
Notes: The Coastal Cultural Trail was set up as an independent marketing initiative between the three galleries two years ago because of their obvious proximity to each other from an audience point of view. The trail is independent from all other tourism frameworks in the area but has since been adopted by some of them. Since 2013 it has gained enough momentum to get external funding to promote it via the Coastal Communities Fund received by Eastbourne Borough Council The idea is to promote the three galleries to cultural tourists and encourage them to eat, drink and stay locally and visit other local attractions whilst they are here.
We are not looking to extend the trail in the next two years but to develop it – therefore we would be looking to put links to other galleries within travelling distance of the trail as our website develops in the future.
Towner Art Gallery
Towner, Eastbourne’s award-winning new gallery which opened in April 2009, is the contemporary art museum for South East England. With 1,250m of display space, Towner boasts the largest gallery space in the South East region. Towner presents a unique programme of major exhibitions of contemporary and historic visual art alongside displays from the internationally renowned, 4000-strong Towner Collection.
The Towner Collection is best known for its modern British art – including the largest and most significant body of work by Eric Ravilious (1903-1942) – and a growing collection of international contemporary art.
Admission to Towner is free. There is also a gift shop and café bar, with stunning views over the South Downs. Summer opening hours are Tuesday – Sunday, and Bank Holiday Mondays, 10am – 6pm.
De La Warr Pavilion
The Grade One Listed, Modernist De La Warr Pavilion is a centre for the contemporary arts which stands proudly overlooking Bexhill’s new seafront. Built in 1935 and restored in 2005, it has exhibitions in two galleries, top music and comedy acts and film programme in the auditorium , a café and bar with outside balconies and magnificent sea views, a large flat roof open-air space for exhibitions and events, and a shop selling designer accessories and gifts.
Artists who have exhibited include Jeremy Deller, Antony Gormley, Richard Wilson and Andy Warhol and recent headline acts include Eddie Izzard, Keane, Patti Smith and Vampire Weekend . The Pavilion and its exhibitions are open 364 days a year, free to enter and accessible to all, with a busy learning programme for all ages to participate in.
The award-winning Jerwood Gallery, situated next to the fishing beach in Hastings’ historic Old Town, is the home for the Jerwood Collection of 20th and 21st century British art and changing exhibition programme.
The Jerwood Collection’s main focus is on works from between the First World War and the 1960s. Highlights include paintings by some of the great British artists of the previous century, including Sir Stanley Spencer, LS Lowry, Walter Sickert and Augustus John. The gallery also has a growing collection of contemporary works by artists including Rose Wylie, Maggie Hambling and Alan Davie.
The gallery has a diverse temporary exhibition programme, which showcases the best modern and contemporary British art. Exhibitions change quarterly so please check the Jerwood Gallery website to find out what’s on.
The gallery is open Tuesday – Sunday 11am – 5pm and Bank Holiday Mondays 11am – 5pm (last admission to the gallery is 4.30pm). Admission is £8 for adults, £3.50 for children (5-16 years) and concessions available.