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The Art of Chichester exhibition celebrates 60 years of Chichester's culture

The Art of Chichester

Sixty years of artistic and cultural achievement across the Chichester District will be celebrated at an inspiring new exhibition being staged by The Novium Museum this June.

'The Art of Chichester: 60 Years of Creativity' will explore the arts, culture and heritage of Chichester City and the district from 1962 — when Chichester Festival Theatre opened — to the present day, embracing professional and amateur work across all art forms. Curated by David Elliott, the exhibition will tell the story of how the arts have put the city of Chichester and surrounding areas on the map.

The exhibition forms a key part of Culture Spark 2022 — an exciting season of events, performances, live entertainment and community projects being held to mark a momentous year of culture in Chichester District, including: 60 years of Chichester Festival Theatre; 40 years of Pallant House Gallery; 30 years of Chichester Cinema; 10 years of The Novium Museum and the Festival of Chichester; and, 200 years of the Chichester Canal Trust.

The exhibition has been made possible thanks to an Arts Council England Project Grant of £37,000, which will also enable an exciting programme of community and public engagement activities. These will include a series of art workshops for children led by practicing artists during the summer holidays, a series of creative family days, and a lecture series for adults.

The museum is collaborating with local charity Article 12 Arts on a series of creative workshops designed to bring marginalised young people from across the district into the museum. The young participants, who will include asylum seekers supported by Sanctuary in Chichester, will be introduced to the themes of the exhibition and be invited to explore their own responses to identity and place through different artistic mediums. Artwork produced during the workshops will be displayed in a community exhibition at The Novium Museum from 24 September 2022.

Councillor Roy Briscoe, Cabinet Member for Culture and Community Services at Chichester District Council, says: "The Art of Chichester exhibition showcases what has been an outstanding 60 years of cultural achievement for the district. The story of arts, culture and heritage reaches far and wide, and we hope that the exhibition and supporting events programme will help to inspire the next generation of creatives.

We are grateful to the many organisations and individuals who are generously contributing to the exhibition, including Pallant House Gallery, the University of Chichester, West Dean College, and numerous local artists and makers. We are also thankful to Arts Council England for their generous support."

An accompanying book written by exhibition curator David Elliott, also entitled 'The Art of Chichester: 60 Years of Creativity', will be available to purchase from The Novium Museum's shop — both in store and online:

The Art of Chichester opens on Saturday, 25 June and will run until 25 February 2023, replacing the Brick Wonders exhibition, which closes on Sunday 5 June.

Admission is free with donations gratefully received. 


For further information, please contact Terri Foster, Public Relations Officer at Chichester District Council on 01243 534537

Notes to editors

David Elliott  was born and bredin Chichester and is an arts manager, curator, author, sometime musician and critic. During his career at the British Council, he has curated or produced over 20 documentary touring exhibitions ranging from Charlie Chaplin to contemporary architecture. He spent 17 years overseas running the British Council's arts programmes in China, Japan, Mexico and Thailand, and was awarded an MBE for cultural services between UK and China in 2013. He was Creative Director of the UK Now festival in China in 2012 and Festival Director of the year-long UK/Mexico 2015.

David has written for (amongst others) New Musical Express, Sounds, Zigzag, The Wire and Electronic Sound, and is the author of two books: Rock Archive: 50 Years of British Rock Photography (British Council, 2013) and 1984: British Pop's Dividing Year (York House Books, 2020). David edited a respected fanzine, ran a label and was one half of an obscure group whose local impact reached the dizzying heights of third on the bill at New Park Centre. Article 12 Arts is a young, local charity led by Caroline Sharman, a local creative arts consultant, and Kate Viner, a local artist and sculptor. Article 12 Arts works with vulnerable young people to provide them with a voice. Their projects include Tears of Joy, which saw them invite asylum seekers and refugees to paint a hand crafted wooden teardrop with something that brings them joy. The resulting artworks were displayed at Chichester Cathedral in June 2021. For more information visit

Arts Council England champion, develop and invest in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people's lives. They support activities across the arts, museums and libraries — from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections.

Between 2018 and 2022, Arts Council England will invest £1.45 billion of public money from government and an estimated £860 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.