The new director of the Towner is working to make the gallery the ‘centre of the community’ in Eastbourne and make art accessible to all.
Joe Hall took the reins at the Eastbourne gallery in March. The 35-year-old has a fine art degree but had been running galleries and working on projects in Essex for many years before he made the move to the coast.
He told the Herald he loves the town and believes it has a lot to offer the creative sector.
He said, “Eastbourne has got a great amount of cultural inspiration with the Downs and the seafront. It really helps to create a really fabulous and vibrant cultural scene.”
Mr Hill says he is determined to make the Towner accessible to more people. The gallery is working with everyone from young people to those with dementia. The Towner is also collaborating with other projects and galleries in the town, including Devonshire Collective.
He said, “People think art is elitist and intimidating but we aim to change that.”
The Towner now boasts a new cinema which shows family favourites, new releases and more unusual art house movies. The cinema has a bar and will soon be doing a late nights on Thursdays.
It will also link to The Congress Theatre once the major refurbishment has taken place.
Mr Hill said he was delighted the council was investing so heavily in a cultural corner for Eastbourne and described it as ‘admirable’. He said he hoped to take the Towner’s work out to The Square, which will be created outside the gallery and Congress when the work is complete.