Art on show in Brighton and Hove & East and West Sussex
The Oxmarket Centre of Arts provides exhibition space for hire by local artists and arts organisations. The Centre has a policy of accessibility and inclusivity, and hosts over 100 exhibitions annually welcoming artists and makers working in a broad range of disciplines including painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, jewellery, textiles and other applied arts. As a registered charity and non-profit making organisation, the Centre employs two part time administrators who report to the Board of Management which is made up of professional people, artists and business people who give their time voluntarily. The Board of Management works alongside a separate Board of Trustees.
The Centre offers free entry and is visited by around 30,000 people annually to view exhibitions by professional artists, leisure painters and art clubs. To support these exhibitions the Oxmarket hosts its own events aimed at involving the community in a range of art related activities and competitions including the Stride Open Art Exhibition and a popular annual printmaking exhibition.
History of the Oxmarket
The Oxmarket Centre of Arts is located within the deconsecrated church building of St Andrew in Oxmarket; from which it derives its name. The church building is Grade II listed and dates back to the 13th century. It suffered collateral bomb damage in 1943 and was not used again for services. Deconsecrated in the 1950s and subsequently derelict, it was not until 1971 that Chichester centre of Arts was formed and work began on restoring the building.
This restoration included the installation of new windows which were designed and engraved by the noted glass engraver Majella Taylor. The north window depicts St Cecilia, the patron saint of music while the window on the south side shows a figure reading a book – a memorial to the poet William Collins who is buried here. The Centre finally opened in 1976.