Worthing's vibrant art scene: Meet the artists and explore the galleries that make this town a go-to destination

As more and more people move to Worthing from arty neighbours like Brighton, the town’s art scene continues to grow and thrive.

There is a huge numbers of galleries and shops selling artists’ wares, a vast number of which stock the work of Sussex-based creators.

I was taken on a fascinating tour of 10 of them, with local photographer Len Brook. Len is passionate about promoting Worthing’s vibrant arts and crafts scene, and was keen for me to meet the people and artists behind the spaces.

Here’s what I found:

West End Gallery, 87 Rowlands Road, Worthing, BN11 3JX

Run by ceramicist Roger Foxwell and photographer Lee Milner, West End Gallery is believed to be Worthing’s only not-for-profit gallery.

Roger said the pair don’t take a penny out of the business, which they took over in April 2023, but do sell their own work there. He added: “It’s about trying to keep rates low for the local artists so they can display their work.

"I get such a thrill out of selling other artists’ work, that’s what it’s all about for me.”

The pair have been running the business for almost two years, and said it was going well. The biggest challenge was getting people to visit and explore all the wonderful independent businesses in the West End of Worthing.

Roger said: “We have a real mix of artists, from retired people who have never told people they’re an artist to students.

"We don’t claim to be the biggest gallery or the most prestigious, but we hope that the artists do well here and go on to bigger things if they want to.”

There are currently 17 artists’ work on display, in a range of mediums from leather art, glass, portrait art, photography, ceramics and more.

Shoreline Gallery, 61 Rowlands Rd, Worthing, BN11 3JN

Jodi Hayes has been at the helm of Shoreline Gallery for 18 years, and in that time she has seen Worthing’s arts scene grow.

Jodi, who produces ceramics which she sells in the gallery, said: “It’s definitely bigger now than what it was when we moved here, which is nice to see.

"The only issue for us is that we can get a bit forgotten at this end of town. We just need to generate more people coming down here.”Shoreline also sells work from notable local artist Hettie Pittman, alongside a carefully curated selection of interior design led products for the home, including soft furnishings, lighting and gift ideas.

Jodi said she often sells a piece of artwork, and then helps people curate the furnishing to work in a room with it, almost like a ‘package service’.

She added: “Worthing has a real buzzy vibe and a vibrant art scene, particularly in the West End. It’s just raising awareness and getting more people down here.”

Montague Gallery, 28 Portland Rd, Worthing BN11 1QN

With 40 resident artists producing a vast range of arts and crafts, the Montague Gallery has something for everyone.

Started as a pop-up shop in the Montague Centre, the gallery now has a permanent home in Portland Road.

Run by directors Alan Humphries and Kim-Adele Fuller, the large, light and airy gallery displays a beautiful array of portraits, photography, jewellery, ceramics and much more.

Kim-Adele said: "People often think galleries are snooty, but we have a welcoming vibe so people can feel comfortable.

"Our USP is lovely, affordable pieces but also quality.”

With two floors, the gallery often uses the upstairs space for workshops and art classes, and this summer is holding its first exhibition. Showcasing the work of 95 artists across a range of mediums, it is raising money for their charity this year – Superstar Arts.

Painter Kim-Adele added: “The artists often come in here, too, and I think they find being surrounded by lovely, joyful work really inspiring.”

Gigglewick Gallery, 14 The Royal Arcade, Worthing BN11 3AY

Selling ‘legacy art’ is important to Gigglewick Gallery’s owners Steve Hancock and Sue Mulholland.

"We love the idea that the pieces we sell will last a generation or two,” Steve said. The walls are lined with Sue’s colourful work, as well as atmospheric pieces by many other artists, with a particular focus on nature.

Steve said in the almost two years they have been in their Royal Arcade shop he has noticed people from Worthing and Brighton travelling to enjoy Worthing’s art scene.

All the artists featured in Gigglewick are local to Sussex. Steve and Sue have also diversified into selling other products such as wooden toys, pretty ‘sidewalk’ chalk and ‘off the wall art’ – striking cardboard creatures that work as statement pieces on your wall.

Steve added: “We don’t want to be stuffy, we want people to come in and have a look. We have something for everyone, a real mixed offering.”

Colonnade House, 47 Warwick Street, Worthing BN11 3DH

Since 2016, Colonnade House has been providing a space for fledgling artists to display their work.

But while one week they might have works on display by students from a local high school, the next they might be showcasing the work of a local artist with international following.

With two gallery spaces downstairs, and 12 rentable studios upstairs, the space is a real hub for local artists and makers.

Run by creative hub manager Richard Manders and a small team, they say they have noticed a trend of more creative people moving into the town.

On the day we visited, MA student Marina Burgess and textile specialist Sara Cook had exhibitions on display. Both said they liked the bright and airy space and getting to chat to potential customers and other artists.

First & Last, 1 The Broadway, Brighton Road, Worthing, BN11 3EG

April Williams didn’t intend to, but since launching First & Last in 2022 she has been championing local female artists and makers.

"At first I didn’t consciously do it, but I used to work in galleries and museums and I had a list of artists I wanted to work with and most of them were female. Now, it is a bit more conscious, but every now and then we have a man with something great.”

Exhibitions in the shop rotate, but April has a core list of artists that she sells in store. From paintings, to cards, to skincare products and more, April said a lot of her customers are buying gifts for others so they can get something ‘different and unique’.

She added: “We’re called a shop because I don’t want this space to feel intimidating. There’s definitely an appetite for artworks in Worthing.”

The shop sometimes offers private views of artists’ work and also does skincare evenings.

East Beach Studios, Beach Parade, East Beach Studios, Worthing, BN11 2FG

At East Beach Studios you’ll find a collective of makers working and selling from a series of small studios.

There is no duplication, so you’ll only find one of each type of artist at the collective.

We chatted to portrait artist David Holt, who has been based at East Beach for the past 14 months having moved to the area recently.

He used to work predominantly from home, but now works six days a week from his sea-view studio.

"The difference is now the customers come to me, whereas I use to have to find and go to them.

"The lovely thing here is that everybody offers something different. There’s a real community spirit feel. There’s always somebody around, so if you want a bit of advice on something you’re working on, there is someone to bounce off.”

Two Faced Twins Art Gallery, Marine Parade, Steyne Gardens, Worthing, BN11 3DZ

Perhaps some of the most high-profile art in Worthing is produced by the Two Faced Twins.

Worthing born and bred, twin sisters Stella and Gemma Stevens create striking and colourful local scenes for ‘contemporary homes’.

When we visited the gallery we found the sisters’ mum Amanda working there. It’s a real family affair, with each of them working two days a week in the space.

Amanda said: “We do get a lot of foot traffic, everyone seems to love to look round I think because it’s art for everyone.

"There’s a lovely feel to the art scene in Worthing. We’re not in competition with each other, we complement each other. We often direct each other to other galleries depending on what people are looking for.”

Amanda said in a full-circle moment, the twins’ former head teacher bought a piece of their work. He told them he ‘felt like a proud grandfather’, which they said was a real proud moment.

As well as their Worthing gallery, they also display their work in Hove and Regent Street in London.

Inspired, 20 The Promenade, Worthing, BN11 3FJ

Right on the seafront next to the pier, Inspired offers an eclectic mix of vibrant arts and crafts.

From screen-printed bags, jewellery, cards, magnets, trinkets and more, there’s a wide range of items on offer for all budgets and tastes.

Co-owners and artists Sophie Mutter and Gemma Reynolds took on the business around 5 years ago. They stock their own work, as well as around 55 Sussex artists and another 20 from across the UK.

Sophie said: “Because of where we are, we get a lot of tourist trade, but we have a lot of regular customers, too.

"I think Worthing’s art scene is bustling because we have no problem finding work to sell. Worthing is an arty place with a chilled vibe.”

The Studio at The Lido, The Lido Buildings, Marine Parade, Worthing, BN11 3PX

Len is part of The Studio at The Lido. He displays his photography as one of seven artists who not only sell from there but work there one day a week, too.

Founder Alison Jones upcycles furniture, and said the collective is loved by customers. She added: “We have a variety of artists. It’s a great starting point for people. We’re supporting local independents, and everything is handmade.”Len said it’s great to be able to meet his customers and talk them through his and the other creatives’ work, and give them a really personal experience.

Other works on sale include sea grass, crochet and hand-sewn bags.