Hastings Arts Forum (HAF) was founded in 2003 by a group of artists and art enthusiasts with a shared commitment to support the visual arts in Hastings and St Leonards and to raise the profile of visual culture in the area. The Forum is now a registered charity and runs two adjoining gallery spaces on the sea front. It is independent of any public funding and is almost totally reliant on its many committed and experienced volunteers. This makes it a space that is unique in Britain.
The gallery offers professional artists the opportunity to exhibit at reasonable prices and gives all artist members and its volunteers the chance to show their work in annual shows. It develops exhibition programmes and has recently launched a new initiative called 'Rising Talent' where new and emerging artists can show their work in a professional gallery for the first time at no cost.
This year HAF is celebrating its 15 year anniversary by holding an exhibition and a series of events and talks that will showcase the extraordinary quality and range of artists connected with Hastings and St Leonards. Collectively entitled 'Festival 15', invitations to exhibit have been sent to a number of artists whose work has helped build the reputation of Hastings and St Leonards as a centre of artistic excellence. The exhibition will open on May 2nd and the festival will last for two weeks.
The aim of the festival is to bring attention to the excellence of art on offer in the area. We will be contacting other local galleries and arts organisations to make sure that this opportunity to gain recognition is all encompassing. The exhibition at the Forum’s gallery will bring together the work of these highly-regarded artists’ work in one place and shine a light on the richness of the arts scene in Hastings and St Leonards. We are very grateful to Matthew Burrows, Robin Holtom and Charlotte Snook who are curating the exhibition.
Lesley Barker, chair of the Forum’s exhibition committee.
Interviews with participating artists will appear here on the blog in the run up to the festival so more soon! You can also check in via: