SWAY, HAMPSHIRE, UK.- ArtSway, the contemporary visual arts gallery in the New Forest, has completed on the freehold purchase of its gallery and grounds, securing the future of the organisation and offering increased resources for contemporary visual arts in Hampshire. Financial support for the freehold purchase was received from Arts Council England, South East; New Forest District Council and Hampshire County Council.
Felicity Harvest, Executive Director, Arts Council England, South East, comments: "We are delighted to support the future of this important contemporary arts gallery through the largest award ever made through Grants for the arts in the region. Our funding of ArtSway supports an energetic and exciting programme of exhibitions that contributes greatly to the arts infrastructure and international profile of the south east."
To celebrate the freehold purchase, ArtSway will be hosting a party on the night of October 8th in its galleries and grounds. The event will be attended by significant numbers of Hampshire County Council and New Forest District Council councillors, as well as important figures from the art world. There will be speeches by Linda Fredericks (Founding Director of ArtSway, currently Director of ASF Weave), Cll. Barry Rickman (Portfolio Holder for Leisure, New Forest District Council), Yinnon Ezra (Director of Recreation and Heritage for Hampshire County Council) and Felicity Harvest (Executive Director, Arts Council England, South East).
ArtSway is a unique white-cube space in a rural setting. The gallery supports the development of new work through innovative artist in residency schemes and presents a high quality changing exhibition programme - functioning on a local, national and international level - as well as innovative audience development and educational programmes.
ArtSway opened its doors in January 1997, with a new extension by architect Tony Fretton (Lisson Gallery, London; Quay Arts, Isle of Wight; Camden Arts Centre, London) enlarging a Victorian coach house in the village of Sway, Hampshire. ArtSway's exhibition programme has included work by artists such as Damien Hirst, Rachel Whiteread, Antony Gormley, Simon Faithfull, Richard Billingham, Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva and Alison Turnbull. The gallery also works internationally, having recently presented the exhibition New Forest Pavilion during this year's Venice Biennale in Italy.
ArtSway Director, Mark Segal, comments: "ArtSway is developing new models of practice for public gallery working and securing this freehold supports the continuing success of ArtSway and its work. The financial commitment made by our main funder, Arts Council England, and the investment made by our local authorities (NFDC and Hampshire County Council) demonstrates how the gallery plays a key role in the delivery of visual arts provision both for local and regional communities as well as National and International audiences."