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Jerwood Gallery is delighted that Sir Quentin Blake has agreed to become its first artist patron. 


The official announcement was made at the Hastings gallery today (Friday 23 March), along with news of his first announcement - that from 30 March, the first day of the Easter holidays, children can visit the gallery for free, when accompanied by a paying adult.


Sir Quentin has a long association with Jerwood Gallery and has been a high-profile supporter since 2012, when it first opened to the public. Since then he has exhibited four times at, what is effectively, his local art gallery - based as it is, just a short walk from his home in Hasting’s Old Town. 

Indeed, Blake’s delightful Moonlight Travellers is currently available to see at Jerwood until 15 April. 

Speaking in 2017, Sir Quentin commented: “What I could never have imagined is that someone would build an art gallery at the end of my road which is within walking distance, that’s wonderful, and it’s such a nice art gallery as well. It’s absolutely what one could wish.”

“Quentin will bring a number of qualities to the role,” says Jerwood Gallery Director, Liz Gilmore. “These include insight, integrity, creative inspiration and a keen understanding of Hastings. Not only these but he exemplifies a sense of heritage, in terms of his background as a world-renowned illustrator and artist but also his close ties with the town.” 

Widely regarded as a living national treasure, Sir Quentin’s profile also makes him an ideal ambassador for Jerwood Gallery, as Gilmore explains: “His appeal is almost universal, as successive generations have grown up with his work or are familiar with his illustrations for the likes of Michael Rosen, Roald Dahl and David Walliams. His popularity and sheer accessibility makes him an almost unique route into art, with his work creating a natural transition from popular to fine art.  

Gilmore, her colleagues and trustees were also struck by Blake’s passion and commitment towards Hastings and Jerwood Gallery, making him an ideal candidate for the role of patron. 

Liz Gilmore again "It is a great honour for Jerwood Gallery that he has agreed to the role and we look forward to working more closely with him in the years to come.”  

Sir Quentin Blake said “It’s wonderful to be able to cement my relationship with the gallery by becoming a Patron. Collaborating with the Jerwood has opened up for me possibilities in my work that I would not have discovered without the encouragement of Liz Gilmore and her colleagues. Their expectations have prompted me to explore new approaches and enabled me to touch on new themes (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 Jerwood Gallery. 

Sir Quentin’s first act in his new role was to announce that children accompanying adults to the gallery will enjoy free entry from Friday 30th March, the start of the Easter holidays. The scheme allows up to four children to go gratis with any adult ticket. The initiative has been enabled by Arts Council England’s National Portfolio Organisation funding, as Jerwood Gallery joins the portfolio of funded organisations this April, and support from Hastings Borough Coucil.

When they come to the gallery, children can take part in a new Family Trail - #Everybodyisanartist. The trail encourages visitors to think of themselves as artists and practice their skills as they explore the gallery. It inspires intergenerational working and has a digital element where parents/carers can post their children’s work on social media to celebrate their success. 

Photo: Sir Quentin Blake with Liz Gilmore, Director of Jerwood Gallery, Lens & Pixel 2018