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Chichester is celebrated as one of the finest cultural capitals in the UK in new exhibition at The Novium Museum

The Art of Chichester

A new exhibition at The Novium Museum in Chichester will highlight the huge range of unrivalled cultural experiences that the district has to offer when it opens on 25 June.

'The Art of Chichester: 60 Years of Creativity' celebrates the district's cultural heritage from its world class venues, including Chichester Festival Theatre, Pallant House Gallery and Chichester Cathedral, to smaller community groups and local creatives.

Opening this month, the exhibition tells the story of Chichester's arts, culture, and heritage from 1962 - when Chichester Festival Theatre opened - to the present day, embracing professional and amateur work across all art forms.

The exhibition, which is free to visit, will also highlight on the success of Chichester's novelists, poets and musicians, including Kate Mosse and Tom Odell. It will cover the award-winning Chichester Cinema at New Park and the district's many festivals, including the Festival of Chichester, and will explore how Goodwood House, West Dean College, the Weald & Downland Living Museum, and The Novium Museum have transformed the notion of heritage in the 21st Century.

The Art of Chichester will include paintings on loan from Pallant House Gallery and Bishop Otter Collection, costumes from Chichester Festival Theatre, architectural models, maquettes, ceramics, publications, videos, and a Chichester-connected gallery soundtrack.

The exhibition is curated by David Elliott, a senior arts manager at the British Council who was born, bred and is now once again, living in Chichester. Through his research, David discovered that several local cultural organisations would be reaching milestone anniversaries this year. This inspired the wider season of culture taking place across the district this summer, Culture Spark 2022.

The significant cultural milestones being celebrated this year include 60 years of Chichester Festival Theatre; 40 years of Pallant House Gallery; 30 years of Chichester International Film Festival; 10 years of The Novium Museum and the Festival of Chichester; and 200 years of the Chichester Canal Trust. This exhibition forms a key part of the Culture Spark programme.

Councillor Roy Briscoe, Cabinet Member for Community Services and Culture at Chichester District Council, says: "This year has been a huge opportunity to shine a light on the district's significant cultural achievements over the past 60 years — both on the world stage and locally through The Art of Chichester exhibition and Culture Spark 2022.

"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."

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 Art of Chichester exhibition opens on Saturday 25 June 2022 and will run until 25 February 2023. Admission is free with donations gratefully received. People can find out more about the exhibition at: 

The accompanying book, 'The Art of Chichester: 60 Years of Creativity' by David Elliott, is available to purchase from The Novium Museum's shop — both in store and online:

People can also find out more about Culture Spark 2022 at:


Notes to Editors

Exhibition Curator, David Elliott

David Elliott was born and bred in Chichester. He moved away for many years and pursued a career as an arts manager at the British Council but has always maintained a close connection with his hometown. David has curated many exhibitions, written for numerous music publications, and is the author of three books, including the accompanying book to this exhibition. He is once again living in Chichester with his family.


Article 12 Arts

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. For more information about the summer workshops, visit

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

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.