Written by Phie Bannister

Nestled between ‘arty’ Hastings and Brighton, East Sussex is home to numerous artists, and has been the muse for even more. Good Friday is also World Art Day this year. So we are marking it (no pun intended) with a round-up of our favourite art galleries, and a few other ideas to get your art-fix!

  • Hastings Museum and Art Gallery is free to enter. It has a range of different exhibitions, including some very family-friendly ones running until autumn. The museum is currently recruiting local artists to have their work exhibited there from October to January. All kinds of artists can apply now.


  • De Le Warr Pavilion is a centre for the arts, situated in an iconic Modernist building in Bexhill. There are free exhibitions year-round, plus events and workshops. On 1 May they are holding a Look-Think-Make workshop for all ages, with a ‘pay-what-you-can’ price. Bookings can be made via their website.


  • Towner Gallery in Eastbourne is a celebration of contemporary art. General exhibitions are free to attend. They run a range of free family-friendly workshops, too. The next available one is 14 May, An (un)Natural History, in conjunction with Eastbourne’s Spring Water Festival. It will explore the impact of plastic on our oceans and participants are invited to bring along items that they’ve found whilst out and about.


  • Farleys House and Gallery – home of surrealists is £20 for a house, garden and galleries tour, or £10 for the galleries and garden. Children are free but are not permitted in the house. Workshops can be booked here.


  • Charleston is a Modernist home and studio that was the former gathering place of the Bloomsbury group. Adult tickets are £16 and children are free. You can explore the house, garden and artwork of homeowners Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant, whilst also enjoying their varied exhibitions. There are workshops and events running very regularly, so check out their ‘What’s On’ here.


  • Ditchling Museum of Art and Craft is £7.50 for adults and under 18s are free. It is currently celebrating the life of Dame Vera Lynn, showcasing 100 items from her estate. Once a month they hold Little Museum Visitors which is a themed, messy-play session for 2 to 5 year-olds.  These, and other workshops can be booked here.


  • The Keep is East Sussex’s archive centre, and is free to enter. It holds numerous fascinating records, photographs, recordings and books linked to local artists like Eric Ravilious, Rudyard Kipling, and many more. It also houses the archives of the Theatre Royal Brighton and has a stunning array of maps and drawings that you can arrange to view. Visit The Keep’s website for latest on workshops and talks.


  • East Sussex libraries are bursting with arty books. Whether you want to learn a new craft, admire other peoples’ work, find some inspiration for your artist’s-block or read an autobiography, we have got you covered!


  • Finally, why not take part in The South Downs National Park photography competition? There are adult and youth categories, with cash prizes of up to £250 for adults and Go-Ape tickets for children. Entries close on 31 October, submit yours here.

We are always on the lookout for new photos of our county, so please share them with us on social media using #YESLove and let us know if you are happy for us to use them. We hope you have a lovely Bank Holiday weekend!