The Quay Arts

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The Quay Arts logo.png
Quay Arts Centre.JPG
The Quay Arts Centre
General information
Architectural style Warehouse
Town or city Newport
Country England
Coordinates 50°42′07″N 1°17′33″W / 50.7019°N 1.2924°W / 50.7019; -1.2924
Design and construction
Architect Tony Fretton

The Quay Arts Centre is located at the head of the River Medina, in Newport in the centre of the Isle of Wight. It is the island's leading art gallery and venue for live events.[1]

The complex features three art galleries, a 134 capacity theatre, a crafts shop, conferencing facilities and a cafe and was fully refurbished in 1997 by architect Tony Fretton. The Quay Arts owns and operates Jubilee Stores, also located on Newport Quay.


The Quay Arts was first proposed in 1974 by a painter Anne Lewington and graphic designer Nigel Lewington, who proposed the idea of a building to house an arts centre for the island. Disused brewery warehouses on the Quay side at Newport Harbour were first identified as a suitable site, and is the location of the Quay Arts Centre today.

In 1976 the buildings were sold to the Isle of Wight Council for £14,000, and in 1978 the Isle of Wight Visual Arts Centre Ltd was formed to manage and operate the Quay Arts Centre.

Since the centre opened in 1982 flooding has been a recurring problem to facilities on the ground floor, and in 1993 a flood wall was built to help prevent further flooding, although it didn't stop completely.[2][3][4] A successful redevelopment bid to the National Lottery in 1996 led to a complete refurbishment and re-opening in 1998. This also included further development of the adjacent Rope Store, also to house art.[5]


The front view of the Quay Arts Centre.
The outside of Jubilee stores.
  • Anthony Minghella Theatre – The theatre was named after island born Anthony Minghella after he opened it in 1997. It is host to a range of live events including professional touring comedy, world music, folk, jazz, blues, small-scale theatre, children's shows and a cultural cinema programme.
  • Seminar Room – A small room located adjacent to the Quay Arts Centre's cafe and measured at around 57 sq. metres it accommodates up to fifty people.
  • Green Room – The Green Room is set in the Rope Store and is slightly smaller than the main seminar room, accommodating around 15 people.
  • Cafe Wall – Recognised as the Quay Art's fourth gallery space. It mainly hosts the work from amateur artists and younger emerging artists, first time exhibitors and experimental work. It hosts a minimum of 11 exhibitions a year.
  • Michael West Gallery – A large space that encourages and promotes innovation and experimentation in visual arts. It was named after General Sir Michael West who was one of the group of artists led by Anne Lewington who founded the Quay Arts in 1975.
  • The Rope Store – The Rope Store was opened in 1997, along with the rest of the Quay Arts after its restoration and is a small space for displaying both solo and group exhibitions. It hosts a minimum of nine exhibitions a year.
  • Learning Curve – A space primarily dedicated to promoting and supporting the work of the island's young people. Occasionally the Learning Curve is linked to the Michael West Gallery's exhibitions as a part of the Quay Arts Outreach programme and hosts a minimum of ten exhibitions per year.
  • Craft Shop – Provides a showcase for more than sixty island and regional craft makers. Many of the crafts featured are unique to the island.
  • Jubilee Stores – Jubilee Stores (pictured) is a separate building on Newport Harbour, housing a Ceramics Workshop, General Workshop, Print Studio and seven private Artists' Studios.


  1. ^ "The Quay Arts Centre – Today". 2008. Archived from the original on 30 May 2008. Retrieved 6 June 2008. 
  2. ^ "Isle of Wight County Press – Tropical downpour leaves IW awash". 2002. Retrieved 4 June 2008. [dead link]
  3. ^ "Isle of Wight County Press – Islanders go on flood alert". 2008. Archived from the original on 24 April 2008. Retrieved 6 June 2008. 
  4. ^ "Isle of Wight County Press – Island counts the cost of floods". 2008. Archived from the original on 6 May 2008. Retrieved 6 June 2008. 
  5. ^ "The Quay Arts Centre – History". 2008. Archived from the original on 10 April 2008. Retrieved 6 June 2008. 

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