Chichester is celebrated as one of the finest cultural capitals in the UK in new exhibition
‘The Art of Chichester: 60 Years of Creativity’ celebrates the district’s cultural heritage from its world class venues, including Chichester Festival Theatre, Pallant House Gallery and Chichester Cathedral, to smaller community groups and local creatives.
Opening this month, the exhibition tells the story of Chichester’s arts, culture, and heritage from 1962 – when Chichester Festival Theatre opened – to the present day, embracing professional and amateur work across all art forms.
The exhibition, which is free to visit, will also highlight on the success of Chichester’s novelists, poets and musicians, including Kate Mosse and Tom Odell. It will cover the award-winning Chichester Cinema at New Park and the district's many festivals, including the Festival of Chichester, and will explore how Goodwood House, West Dean College, the Weald & Downland Living Museum, and The Novium Museum have transformed the notion of heritage in the 21st Century.
The Art of Chichester will include paintings on loan from Pallant House Gallery and Bishop Otter Collection, costumes from Chichester Festival Theatre, architectural models, maquettes, ceramics, publications, videos, and a Chichester-connected gallery soundtrack.
The exhibition is curated by David Elliott, a senior arts manager at the British Council who was born, bred and is now once again, living in Chichester. Through his research, David discovered that several local cultural organisations would be reaching milestone anniversaries this year. This inspired the wider season of culture taking place across the district this summer, Culture Spark 2022.
The cultural milestones being celebrated this year include 60 years of Chichester Festival Theatre; 40 years of Pallant House Gallery; 30 years of Chichester International Film Festival; ten years of The Novium Museum and the Festival of Chichester; and 200 years of the Chichester Canal Trust. This exhibition forms a key part of the Culture Spark programme.
Councillor Roy Briscoe, Cabinet Member for Community Services and Culture at Chichester District Council, said: “This year has been a huge opportunity to shine a light on the district’s significant cultural achievements over the past 60 years — both on the world stage and locally through The Art of Chichester exhibition and Culture Spark 2022.
“The story of arts, culture and heritage reaches far and wide, and we hope that the exhibition and supporting events programme will help to inspire the next generation of creatives.
“We are grateful to the many organisations and individuals who are generously contributing to the exhibition, including Pallant House Gallery, the University of Chichester, West Dean College, and numerous local artists and makers. We are also thankful to Arts Council England for their generous support.”
The exhibition has been made possible thanks to an Arts Council England Project Grant of £37,000, which will also enable an exciting programme of community and public engagement activities. These will include a series of art workshops for children led by practicing artists during the summer holidays, a series of creative family days, and a lecture series for adults.
The Art of Chichester exhibition opens on Saturday 25 June 2022 and will run until 25 February 2023. Admission is free with donations gratefully received. People can find out more about the exhibition at: www.thenovium.org/artofchi