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DIRECTOR'S STATEMENT -13th FEBRUARY 2019

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“When Jerwood Gallery opened in 2012 there were mixed feelings here in Hastings. Seven years on we’re delighted that we now welcome so many different audiences and have become a fixture of the Stade and our town. Our success is owed in huge part to the foresight of the Jerwood Foundation. 
 
A few years ago, we agreed with the Jerwood Foundation that we should become a fully independent gallery. For us that means continuing to develop a broad and dynamic programme for the people of the South East, and in turn bringing visitors to the Gallery and the town.  
 
We benefited from the Foundation’s expertise as we steered the Gallery to independent charity status, using their support to secure a successful application to join Arts Council England’s National Portfolio. The decision by the Arts Council in 2017 to invest in us, at a time when its funding was at a standstill, was a significant vote of confidence in our achievements and potential.  
 
We are delighted that the Foundation has committed to funding us until the end of 2019, and our Board of Trustees remains ready and willing for further discussion with Jerwood Foundation to finalise our negotiations. Thanks to the foresight of the Jerwood Foundation, the Gallery has a renewable lease, which gives the Gallery’s trustees great confidence in our future fundraising ability and its strategy for long-term investment in the building. 
 
At the Gallery we celebrate the strong artistic heritage of Hastings and the wider region. We’re proud to bring major national institutions to Hastings, including loans from the National Gallery and Tate. We have flourished through our strong relationships with internationally celebrated artists, bringing works to Hastings by artists such as Jake and Dinos Chapman, Rose Wylie and Quentin Blake. Throughout the last seven years we have worked closely with local schools and education organisations to ensure the widest possible participation.
 
Disengagement discussions between the Foundation and the Gallery include the departure of the Jerwood Collection from the gallery. Many works in the Jerwood Collection have become ‘old friends’ to our visitors, and our artistic DNA has been shaped by the presence of the Foundation’s Modern British Art collection – with Hastings being recognised as a beacon for British painting. 
 
The departure of the Jerwood Collection will allow the Gallery to build on this recognition, and to use the full potential of our remarkable building for a more diverse range of exhibitions for the different audience groups we have built.
 
The Gallery is now in discussions with key partners including Arts Council England. The Gallery’s trustees are committed to its future in Hastings, and to inviting ever wider audiences to enjoy art by the sea."

 - Liz Gilmore, Director, Jerwood Gallery