Exhibitions & Events

Stormont Awards - Prize-giving Ceremony and Exhibition

Awards 11 JANUARY 2pm, then Exhibition to 25th JANUARY

Stormont Studio Gallery 6

The Stormont Gallery Awards celebrates another year of local primary schools participating in our esteemed art competition.
The theme this year was ‘Monster’ with works allowed on paper with any media.
The awards will be presented by Councillor Rebekah Gilbert, with judging by Artist Matt Hardman, Sculptor Guy Portelli VPRBA, and Gallery Director Jane Fenn.
An exhibition of all submitted work will be in The Stormont Studio from 11 January – 25 January.

Stormont Awards Poster 2020

The Artist Kitty French and Friends


Stormont Studio Gallery 6

Rye Art Gallery Trust are delighted to have recently received donations of artwork by the well known local artist and teacher Kitty French.
To celebrate this, we are staging a retrospective exhibition of all the works by her that Rye Art Gallery holds in the Permanent Collection, alongside some artworks by Kitty’s contemporaries, friends and students – such as David Crew and Wally Cole.

IMG 5213

Colour Education Lectures by John Fewster

LECTURES RUN ON 3 CONSECUTIVE WEDNESDAYS 19th and 26th February & 4th March, 6.30pm – 8pm (approx)

£10.00 per lecture or £25.00 for all three Concession: Friends £5 per lecture.

A series of 3 lectures aiming to give a broad understanding of the mechanics of colour for those interested in the visual arts.
An overview of the physics of light, the biology of the eye and the psychology of perception, and how they combine to create the illusive sensation of colour.
Lectures are approximately 60-90 mins plus Q&A etc... The series of 3 presents a continuous story from historic through contemporary science of colour, leading into
broader topics of colour theory and perception.

1. Colour science:
What is light? What is colour? About the spectrum, Newton etc.; The human eye, rods and cones, tristimulus, opponent process; Additive colour, primaries, electronic colour on screen; Subtractive colour, primaries, colour in print; Additive vs. Subtractive; Metamerism, colour dependency on illumination...

2. Colour theory:
Theory milestones; The colour circle, historic primaries, updated primaries, secondaries and tertiaries; Colour circle sets; Variables of colour, Hue - Chroma - Value etc.; Historic and current colour models, Munsell etc.;
3D colour spaces, RGB, CMYK, gamuts etc...

3. Colour perception:
Objects, surfaces and illumination; Colour constancy; Cognitive processes, optical
input, perception, realisation; Successive and simultaneous contrast; Colour assimilation; Optical colour mixing; Chevreul, Albers; Colour interaction, tonal illusions, flushing and fluting effects etc.; Surface qualities, texture, iridescence; Light sources; Communicating colour...

Hue Chroma Value 2

Finding Form. Bernard McGuigan & Yana Rits


OPENING RECEPTION Saturday 22nd February 11am – 1pm

Art critic and writer Andrew Graham-Dixon wrote “McGuigan is an outstanding sculptor in stone”. In the tradition of 20th century sculptors, such as Moore, Hepworth and Gill, Bernard uses the direct carving method. His pieces are graceful and deceptively simple in their carving style, but nonetheless have a powerful yet tranquil potency.
Dr Sally Dormer, Art historian at The Victoria and Albert Museum said “His works' abstraction and lack of specific identity render them universally accessible and appealing”.

When first coming across an exhibition of his work we delight in the thought of stone as a reliable and, in relation to our own lifespan, timeless material. This sensation may be remembered in the mind like a line from a requiem, quietly insistent. In a form of homage
to the way that stones long been used to mark boundaries and places of passage, his sculptures appear to define the limits of individual tenderness in a harsh and competitive world. Standing between artist and spectator, they mediate the ever-present challenge of being alive.

Bernard McGuigan

Finding Form. Yana Rits & Bernard McGuigan


OPENING RECEPTION Saturday 22nd February 11am – 1pm

In her photographic practice, cinematographer and visual artist Yana Rits employs her own body as a visual aid.
“The beauty, harmony and fragility of the human body, male or female, are undeniable, which makes it an incomparable tool for the embodiment of those creative and philosophical themes present in my work.
I use my own body to study not only concepts of time, form and space, but the whole gamut of human existence from cultural aspects such as religion, gender and racial privilege to more basic and primal ones like sexuality and age.”
Yana Rits.


Green Havoc

15 MARCH – 3 MAY

Stormont Studio Gallery 6 - The Permanent Collection

Local artists Denise Franklin and Sarah Palmer have linked together with the curator of Rye Art Gallery’s Permanent Collection, Julian Day, to stage an exhibition which celebrates the explosion of growth in Spring. The inspiration came from the poem “Almond Blossom “ by Fiona Benson.

Sarah and Denise have selected works from our Collection to show dynamic mark-making, intimate endeavour and a joy in nature. The artists' own practice has always led them to walk together in the landscape. By examining the works in the Collection it has challenged and energised their conversations and required them to reflect on their own practice.

Townsend Kenneth Fairlight

New Work - Rye Society of Artists



Now in its 69th year the Rye Society of Artists is an inspiring showcase. The Society is made up of practising professional artists living and working within a 15 mile radius of Rye.
The Rye Society of Artists annual shows attract buyers and collectors from near and far who come to see the latest work from over forty artists who are outstanding in their particular field. All work is for sale and will include drawing, painting, collage, photography, print, clay, mixed media and glass.

This year the focus for the Spring display is NEW WORK and there will be several “meet the artist” sessions during the show. These slots will give the public a chance to come and meet one of the artists and hear them talk about their work and answer questions.
Please see here on the website for forthcoming details of these events.


Sally Cole. Embodied Land



Sally writes "I am a landscape painter and printmaker.
In 2019 I was privileged to be granted a month’s creative residency close to a remote beach on the spectacular west coast of New Zealand. Embodied land is a direct response to the sounds of the sea and the resulting vibrations of the land, which were with me 24 hours a day for the month I spent there, and became embodied within me.
Working on the ideas and feelings from this time I have produced paintings and prints both in the studio and working outside in Pembrokeshire where the coastline also resonates with sound.
This will be an ongoing project, which I intend to continue over time."


John Wiltshire. Bees and Wands

2 MAY - 30 MAY with OPENING RECEPTION & MEET THE ARTIST Saturday 2nd May 11am – 2pm 


John writes "The bees derived from working on a project for the bicentenary of Darwin’s birth with Cambridge University Museum of Zoology in 2009. We recreated his beetle collection as paper models and this necessitated looking at insects in detail. Since then they have become subjects for portraits.
We are alert to our surroundings and notice the incongruous. I tend to collect objects everywhere I go. Things usually jump out at me and become souvenirs or talismans of a place or time or person, or emotion or moment or idea. I also save ribbons and string from gifts because I enjoy concealed inspiration from loved ones.

These collections provide components for assemblages, which then become painted. Resembling ‘wands’ they began in the 1980’s in collaboration with another artist. We posted a stick back and forth attaching more and more found objects. This work is still often the donor for paintings and gets updated with new objects and reinvented.

Making paintings is a way of marking life and stopping time. It offers a resistance to our fast paced lives and imagery in which there can be resolution and stillness."

OPENING RECEPTION & MEET THE ARTIST Saturday 2nd May, 11am – 2pm

Bumble Bee 349 350 1


9 MAY - 28 JUNE

Stormont Studio Gallery 6 - The Permanent Collection

Rye’s own rich connections with the sea, both as a cinque port and a fishing harbour, have been explored by major artists throughout history. It is a theme that continues to be the focus for many contemporary artists working in Rye and further afield - presenting their work in the Rye Art Gallery throughout the year.

We are lucky to have a large variety of paintings and drawings in our Permanent Collection at the Gallery, both historic and contemporary, that are evocative of sea and sky.
Rye Art Gallery Collections curator, Julian Day, has selected over 30 works for the exhibition.

Fred Cuming2 300ppi X 12 Inch

Karl Terry & Tom Marsh. Painting Places

30 MAY – 27 JUNE


Karl and Tom are both dedicated and enthusiastic artists who delight in setting up their easels and immersing themselves in the landscape, from the wilds of Romney Marsh to the foaming seas of a bright, bracing day on Camber Sands and to scenes far beyond.
Their skilled brushwork, painting from direct observation, reflects a real sense of place and atmosphere.
During the show there will be an opportunity to meet Tom and Karl and watch them at work as well as demonstrations in the Gallery.
Details will appear here on the website.

Tom Marsh Romney Marsh