Chichester's Oxmarket Gallery confirms reopening date

Chichester’s Oxmarket Gallery has confirmed the key dates for its celebration of Sussex’s lockdown art as it prepares for reopening.

By Phil Hewitt
Monday, 29th June 2020, 7:20 am
Oxmarket chairman Sophie Hull
Oxmarket chairman Sophie Hull

The Oxmarket will open its doors for the first time in four months on July 14 with an exhibition of mixed media work in the John Rank Gallery. And then on Tuesday, August 11 for two weeks, the gallery will launch into its Knockout Lockdown Art show. The Knockout Lockdown Art competition is now up and running – and entries are welcome via

Oxmarket chairman Sophie Hull said: “This is a competition open to all to have a go and express themselves and what lockdown means to them.

“It could be a montage or a photo or a single item. We’d like as many people as possible to enter the art competition and get people engaged. The art will be exhibited and for sale at the Oxmarket Gallery and the proceeds of sales will go to the Love Your Hospital charity, one we can all value, and their Hospital Heroes COVID-19 Appeal for Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

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“Through the COVID-19 crisis, their staff are working unbelievably hard to care for the most vulnerable patients – our families and friends. They also have many of their own staff who, because of their own health needs, are having to isolate and require support at this time. These are extraordinary times and Love Your Hospital, the dedicated charity of WSHT, and the Oxmarket, are supporting their staff’s physical and emotional wellbeing.”

Sophie added: “We have a superb team of judges for the Knockout Lockdown Art Competition. We have Philip Jackson, Rosemary Marley from West Dean, Catherine Barnes one of our regular and famous artists, and Sussex Newspapers group arts editor Phil Hewitt.

“Catherine Barnes has a long-standing presence in Sussex and Hampshire, with exhibitions in Chichester since 2014. Philip Jackson (who is based near Midhurst) is a world-famous sculptor, noted for his modern style and emphasis on form. And Rosemary Marley is the short course manager, West Dean. We are absolutely thrilled to have such a brilliant panel of judges. Their passion for art and desire to encourage it is so inspiring.

The closing date for Knockout Lockdown Art Competition entries is Monday, July 20. Competition entrants will be advised whether they have been selected on Monday, July 27.

Competition entries will need to be delivered to the Gallery between Tuesday, August 4 and Friday, August 7 for the Knockout Lockdown Art Exhibition set-up on Monday, August 10 before opening on Tuesday, Aug 11.

As for the gallery’s opening on July 14, Sophie said screens, sanitisers, arrows and a one-way system would all be in place.

“I am absolutely thrilled that we are going to be able to get the gallery going gain. It has been a long time. The volunteers have wanted to come back sooner, but obviously couldn’t, and a lot of the artists have had to cancel or to postpone – which means that we have got a number of bookings for next year, which is good. The closure has allowed us to do some works on the buildings, and one of our volunteers in particular has repainted the door and tidied up around the gallery. It is wonderful how helpful and kind and generous some people are.

"I don’t think this will have done any long-term damage to the gallery. It is a strong gallery and we are working on our programme to enhance and improve the facilities. It is going to be an amazing part of the city regeneration programme for our high street. Chichester is going to be the kind of place you go to for experiences, visiting places like the Oxmarket and Pallant House and the Novium. We are going to be a key part of that visitor experience.”


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