Image Credit: Jonny Fuzz – Hastings & St. Leonards On-Sea Photography
Unveiling the Coastal Canvas: The Artistic Pulse and Creative Scene of Hastings & St Leonards
Anyone who is in the know….knows that Hastings & St Leonards is a creative hotspot of artistic talent who now chose to call the area home.
Flying through a modern-day renaissance as an arts hub that truly captures the imagination for those in the know.
These are two towns full of creativity has emerged as a haven for artists, creatives, and connoisseurs alike. Whether it’s avant-garde exhibitions, lively art festivals, or local artisans, Hastings and Saint Leonards beckons with a promise of artistic discovery.
Here are our picks…
Artistic Haven: A Glimpse into the Creative Heartbeat of the Seaside Towns
1. St Leonards Bohemian Beginnings:
The bohemian aura of St Leonards, evident in its vintage shops and quirky boutiques, extends deeply into its art scene. From its inception as a Victorian resort town, the area has attracted artists, writers, and musicians, and that legacy continues today with many contemporary artists calling St Leonards home.
2. The Creative Quarter – Bohemia:
The Bohemia Creative Quarter is a community of people with over 80 different businesses and shops. With its own sense of history but doesn’t enjoy the same attention as southern parts of St Leonards. A diverse range of local enterprises have banded together to create as initiative as an attempt to shift people’s attention from the St Leonards coastal strip to a less well known but equally interesting part of town.
3. Hastings Art Galleries and Studios:
Hastings Old Town is dotted with an array of art galleries and studios, each echoing the town’s eclectic artistic spirit. From contemporary installations at the Jerwood Gallery to the bohemian art spaces tucked away in the town’s winding alleys, there’s a visual treat around every corner. Local artists often open their studios to the public, providing an glimpse into their creative processes.
4. Coastal Currents Arts Festival:
Every September, the town is full of energy of the Coastal Currents Arts Festival. A month-long celebration, this festival sees artists from Hastings and Sussex regions showcasing their work. From open studios and interactive installations to street performances and workshops, it’s a great statement to the area’s creative heritage.
5. Vibrant Music Scene:
The local music scene is as varied as its visual arts. The town has a deep-rooted love for live music, evident from the numerous pubs, bars, and venues hosting gigs regularly. Whether it’s the melodies echoing from The Stag or the indie rock performances at The Printworks, there’s something for every musical taste. Whilst venues like The Kino-Teatr, an old cinema turned arts space, host a variety of musical events, from jazz nights to indie rock gigs, reflecting the town’s eclectic musical tastes.
6. Street Art and Murals:
Taking a stroll through Hastings or St Leonards is akin to walking through an open-air art gallery. Vibrant murals, thought-provoking graffiti, and intricate street art pieces adorn the town’s walls. These artworks, often created by local talents, infuse the town’s ancient architecture with a modern, creative flair.
7. Theatre and Performance Arts:
The Stables Theatre and the Electric Palace Cinema stand as pillars of Hastings’ performance arts scene. The former, with its rich history, stages both classic plays and contemporary performances, while the latter, an independent cinema, screens a mix of mainstream, indie, and art-house films.
8. Artistic Workshops and Classes:
For those looking to dabble in creativity, Hastings offers an array of workshops. From pottery and sculpting to painting and printmaking, local artists often host sessions, passing on their craft and fostering a new generation of artists.
9. Hastings Pier – A Blend of History and Art:
Rebuilt after a devastating fire, the iconic Hastings Pier now stands as a testament to resilience and innovation. Hosting regular art exhibitions, musical gigs, and cultural events, the pier is a melting pot of the town’s history and its modern artistic spirit.
10. Antique and Vintage Shops:
Hastings town’s numerous antique shops, particularly along George Street, are treasure troves of vintage art pieces, collectibles, and retro memorabilia. St Leonards has burgeoning vintage scene. Kings Road and Norman Road are dotted with vintage and antique shops, whilst Teddy Tinkers on London Road is worth an honorable mention.