aspex to launch new gallery space at Portsmouth Guildhall

10 Mar

Off Site

New venture will see two of Portsmouth’s cultural destinations collaborate to bring contemporary visual art to thousands more every year.

Two of Portsmouth’s cultural destinations have announced plans to create a new gallery space at the heart of Portsmouth Guildhall. aspex guildhall will show some of the very best in Contemporary Art from emerging artists based in the south of England, with up to six different exhibitions a year.

Andy Grays, Chief Executive at Portsmouth Cultural Trust said: “At the Cultural Trust we want to collaborate with arts organisations who offer us something special, I believe this new partnership will bring a marvellous new gallery to the heart of the city of Portsmouth. It adds a very new dimension to the Guildhall and we hope the public will respond by visiting us”.

The first exhibition from artist Jonny Hannah will launch on 17 June this year, during Portsmouth Festivities. Jonny’s work has been much in demand since his departure from Liverpool Art School and the Royal College of Art, with his work gracing the pages of Vogue, The New York Times and many a book jacket, as well as advertising and design work for clients such as the English National Opera and vintners Justerini & Brooks. Amongst private collectors Jonny has also established a loyal following for his linocuts, screenprints, and paintings. A passionate music lover, and sharp dresser (correspondent shoes and bow-ties are de rigeur) Jonny’s work is inspired by whatever he’s listening to – which happens to mostly be Jazz. In 2005 Jonny’s children’s book ‘Hot Jazz Special’, was published by Walker Books and the Candlewick Press.

Joanne Bushnell, Director of aspex said: “We are really excited about collaborating with Portsmouth Cultural Trust, which gives us the opportunity to reach more visitors with a gallery space right in the centre of Portsmouth. We are planning a diverse exhibitions programme, blending some of the very best artists we have shown at aspex along with specially curated exhibitions specifically for the Guildhall.”

This is just one of many initiatives before Portsmouth Cultural Trust announces their capital programme for some much needed refurbishment works in the main auditorium and front of house areas, planned for 2016. The appeal will be launched alongside a brand new membership scheme for concertgoers and corporate partners alike.

About aspex

aspex has a 33-year track record of supporting emerging artists and engaging audiences, through the delivery of a programme of exhibitions, off-site projects and participatory opportunities. Since relocating to the waterfront at Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth in 2006, the gallery has focused on audience development, and in particular finding ways to meaningfully engage its visitors by facilitating connections with artists and revealing the creative process.

A charity and company limited by guarantee, aspex is a National Portfolio Organisation of Arts Council England and is supported by Portsmouth City Council.

About Portsmouth Cultural Trust

Portsmouth Cultural Trust is a company limited by guarantee that was incorporated in Feb 2011. Since April 2011 the Trust has operated the Portsmouth Guildhall entertainment venue under a 25 year licence from Portsmouth City Council. It is also the custodian of the rest of the Guildhall building which is used for weddings and major catering events along with various commercial property lettings in other parts of the building. The Trust became a registered charity in 2013.

To arrange interviews, press trips, more press information and visuals, please contact Marelize de Beurs, Head of Marketing at Portsmouth Cultural Trust on 023 93870 200 / or Gareth Colwell, Communications Manager at aspex on 023 9277 8080 /

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