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Mike Howley Trust: Funding Round now OPEN!

Funding Opportunity for Young Island Creatives

The 2020 Mike Howley Trust awards are now open for applications.

Mike Howley, who worked for many years as Director of Cultural Services for the Isle of Wight Council, died in May 2013, leaving part of his estate for the specific benefit of aspiring young actors, musicians, dancers and writers, between the ages of 18 and 30, living on the Isle of Wight”.

 Trustees welcome applications from people within the stated age range and art forms for investment in areas such as training, equipment, marketing & promotion, recording, rehearsal space, staging, publishing costs, or simply time to create.  If you fit the bill and have an idea you are burning to put into action, we would like to hear from you.

Due to the advent of the coronavirus and our current state of lockdown, we will be looking at all applications digitally and via email this year.

Please read the guidelines carefully and return your application form to Megan at by Fri 24 April 2020, together with a short video about your project – no longer than 2 minutes.. This can be an example of your work if you wish.  Please also contact Megan if you have any questions.

The selection panel will look at all submitted applications and contact you if they have any questions.

We hope to be able to let you know if you have been successful by Monday 4 May.

To download the guidelines please click here.

To download an application form please click here.

Check out this video of last years MHT recepients, talking about how the funding helped them…

Quay News



In the light of recent advice from Government and Public Health England about the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19), we want to do our very best to keep all our staff and customers safe. With this said, here is the update on where we stand on our opening hours/events and other matters regarding our day to day running here at Quay Arts…


Following another team meeting this morning, we have sadly come to the decision to close our doors to the public until further notice for staff and customer safety. Staff will still be onsite and contactable by email and phone. We will be in contact with you if you hold a ticket to an upcoming event or workshop.

Quay Arts are committed to bringing you the very best in arts and creative opportunities on the Isle of Wight. We will strive to find new ways in bringing this to you and ensure we are able to support the local arts ecology. Please bear with us while we explore new avenues in making this accessible to everyone.

Thank you for your understanding & support. Watch this space!


ALL live events originally scheduled to take place in March will no longer go ahead. However, we are currently working to reschedule as many shows as possible. Unfortunately some of the shows may well be cancelled completely. As we are a very small team, please bear with us as we work through each event on a show by show basis. Box Office will be in contact with all ticket holders as soon as possible, we ask for your patience at this time and can assure you we will be doing our very best to keep all customers informed.

We would like to invite all customers to consider transferring their ticket for a new rescheduled date or transfer to a different show taking place later on in the year. Small venues such as ours rely heavily on the revenue from these events to enable us to continue to provide a diverse programme of live entertainment and art. If rescheduling or choosing a different event is not feasible, we are asking customers to consider donating the value of the ticket to Quay Arts – as a charity we really appreciate your support throughout the challenging times we are going through. We will of course provide a refund should you wish but we would really appreciate you considering the other options first.

We have a big programme of events scheduled for the rest of the year, therefore will be reviewing later events nearer the time.


Courses and workshops taking place at Jubilee Stores and Quay Arts have been suspended till further notice. All customers already booked onto a course or workshop will be contacted by a member of our Box Office ASAP.

At this time we do ask for your patience and understanding of all that’s going on, we are doing our very best to keep all ticketholders informed, and if you do have any pressing questions that we have not answered here, please email

As a charity, we can’t thank you enough for your patience and understanding. At these uncertain times, we want to make sure we are doing our best to keep our staff and customers feeling positive and assured. All we can rely on now is support and love from all you wonderful people. Please keep safe, be sensible and keep smiling.

Cafe Bar News Quay News Take Part News What's On News


Quay Arts will be re-opening on Saturday 4th July. And we want to reassure all our customers that we are working hard to put all the measures in place so you can have a safe visit here at the Quay.

In line with the latest Government guidance, we are excited to confirm that Quay Arts will be reopening on Saturday 4th July – we can’t wait to welcome you back!

Your safety and our staff’s safety continues to be our top priority and this is the first step of a phased reopening. And we want to reassure all our customers that we are working hard to put all the measures in place so you can have a safe visit here at the Quay.


  • A new queuing system to protect customers and staff
  • Socially distanced table plan in the café
  • Hand sanitisers available around the building
  • One person at a time in the toilets
  • Limited menu available and additional take away options
  • Staff wearing PPE for table service
  • Protective perspex on the bar
  • Reduced opening hours to 10am – 4pm
  • Tables and chairs will be wiped down and sanitised after every customer use

Please DO NOT come into Quay Arts if you are showing any COVID-19 symptoms – coughing, sneezing, sore throat high temperature or loss of taste and smell. DO NOT come into Quay Arts if you have been in contact with someone with COVID-19.


The galleries will be re-opened as of Saturday 4th July, with a one way system in place for guidance in regards to social distancing. Due to the current situation, the exhibition which will be on display in the West Gallery will be the ‘Great Leap Forward’ Exhibition, which was running before lock down. We also have a NEW exhibition in the Clayden Gallery, ‘Battle of the Bands’, musical icons rendered in cardboard from the Hullabaloo At Home Festival 2020!


The craft shop will remain closed but we hope to re-open very soon. The box office has been re-located to the cafe office for the time being.


As we are following the government guidelines, we are still unsure when we will be able to resume with our live events. For the time being, we have had shows reschedule for the later on in the year, and we will be regular contact with ticket holders to any shows which have been rescheduled or cancelled. Watch this space for more updates.


We are currently working on a risk assessment for the re-opening of Jubilee Stores. This may involve reducing class sizes and putting measures in place for regular classes to run smoothly and safely for all participants and tutors. Watch this space for more updates!


We can’t thank the public enough for the all the ongoing support we have received during this difficult time, whether that’s by making a donation or simply sharing your support online. We can’t wait to see you all again – please bear with us whilst we try work out the new normal! Thank you.


Hands & Faces: ONLINE drawing course

Hands and faces with Nick Martin – a short online drawing course

Fridays 24 Jul / 31 Jul / 7 Aug / 10 – 11am / £30


Join experienced tutor Nick Martin for an online course that will help you establish good drawing practice and easy ways of always getting the face and hands ‘right’.

With some simple rules and a little practice, you will never need to fear hands and feet again!

The course is delivered across online via Zoom across three hour long sessions on consecutive Fridays.

Session 1 – group introductions / tutor demo / Q&As

Session 2 – practical activity focussing on the face & features

Session 3 – practical activity exploring hands

An individual 10 min tutorial will be offered to each student between session 2 and 3 for feedback and to set some homework.The course will be delivered via Zoom with a maximum of 10 places available, which must be pre-booked.

This course has been developed with consideration for participants working from home and only a few pencils and some A3 paper is required to join in.


· introduction to students and tutor demo / course Q&A

· x2 sessions of group activity (practicals)

· individual 10m tutorials

The tutor will host the Zoom sessions and allow participants in at the allotted start time of 10am.

Zoom can be downloaded as an app to a PC / laptop or accessed via a web browser.



HOMEART #8 – A La Mondrian!

Piet Mondrian (b. 1872 – d. 1944) was a major player in the Dutch abstract art movement known as the De Stijl (The Style) and regarded as one of the greatest artists of the 20th Century.

He developed a style of totally abstract painting which combined only straight lines and right angles, primary colours and primary values (black, white and grey).

Mondrian’s work continues to inspire architects and fashion designers, such as the contemporary designer Camille Walala

More about Mondrian can be found on Wikipedia:

Create your own MONDRIAN inspired artworks.

You’ll need: thin card (or a cereal box), ruler, scissors, masking tape and pencil.

1.Draw several horizontal and vertical lines on your card (non-glossy side of cereal pack) using the ruler. Make sure the lines are spaced at differently spaced intervals.

2.Where horizontal and vertical lines have crossed you will have created squares and rectangles. Cut out a number of these shapes (but don’t cut out shapes that join the edge of your template).

3.Cut a straight line from the edge of your template to reach into a shape, then use masking tape or similar to repair the single cut line. If you are old enough and competent you can use a craft knife with a metal cutting ruler and self-healing mat underneath. 

4.Place your template over a sheet of white paper and start colouring with red, yellow, blue, black and grey – this recreates the three primary colour and values Mondrian worked with.

5.Make more than one template for variety of shapes and be sure to include some long thin slots, which can be used to box in coloured areas.

6.Rotating templates to apply shapes in different directions for variety.

It’s harder than it looks, to find a harmonious combination of lines, shapes and colour!

Mondrian’s late work such as ‘Victory Boogie Woogie’ (1942) incorporated torn coloured paper. For an extended activity how about cutting out and wrapping coloured bands of paper over paper strips to glue onto a white background.


Upcycle Orchestra – Meet Ben!

Every week we have been sharing with you stories and videos of the brilliant Intune Upcycle Orchestra, who rehearse at Quay Arts every Friday. We are missing the great sounds from the Upcycle team, so we share with you another great video!

The In Tune Upcycle Orchestra – connecting inspirational individuals to the power of music. Every Friday at Quay Arts, we normally have the incredible In Tune Upcycle Orchestra rehearsing in our building. Every week, we will be sharing videos and stories of these inspirational individuals in the Upcycle Orchestra.

“This week’s video features Ben in full Rock mode. Ben has an inherited love for music and enjoys performing infront of others! Please enjoy his awesome performance, rock on Ben!” – Darren Price, In Tune Upcycle Orchestra Facilitator

To see the video please click here!


HOMEART #7: Tasty Tangrams!

Tangrams are Chinese dissection puzzles made up of seven flat shapes called ‘Tans’ which can be put together to form shapes. Invented around 1000 years ago, they were brought to Europe in the 19th Century.

There are 6500+ tangram problems that can be solved using only seven Tan shapes (which should not be overlapped).

But don’t worry! We’re not setting puzzles here – just using the basic shapes to create mindful patterns and geometric art.

Mark up 10 cm squares on a variety of coloured paper (its fine to shade white paper with coloured pencils or paint paper).

If you have a cutting mat you can make use of the printed rulers to mark up your squares.  

Divide up your squares with lines as shown in image 1 & 2 creating parallelograms, triangles and squares.

Cut out as neatly as possible. Use scissors or if you have permission, a craft knife and metal ruler, or a paper guillotine if you own one.

Play with the pieces to create pleasing patterns! Glue them down if you are really pleased with a design.

Feel free to experiment with cut shapes such as circles, hemispheres and different sized squares to expand upon the traditional 7 ‘Tans’!


My Millennium – Throwback to year 2000

Twenty years ago, Quay Arts organised an ambitious project to fill the building with self-portraits of a generation of children. As with many things we’ve done over the years, it started small (with a 10 x 10cm template) but as schools got on board and drawings, paintings and prints came flooding in, it grew to such an extent that the resulting exhibition, My Millenium, ended up in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest collection of self-portraits ever, with 13,626!

Were you one of the thousands of children who took part? Do you recognise yourself in any of these photos? Comment below your memories of the exhibition! 💭

And WATCH THIS SPACE for news of a follow-up, twenty years later….


Isolation Row Virtual Folk Festival

Our venue might be closed at present, but this isn’t stopping local folk singers John Hacker and John Bentley. Since the lock down a weekly folk club has been running on Zoom and now the organisers are planning a 2 day Folk Festival later this month on Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st May.

Called the Isolation Row Folk Festival it will feature some of the finest local performers, as well as a few mainland guests. It will run from 2-5pm on each day. The event is being held as a fundraiser for Quay Arts.

John Bentley explains ”I run a monthly folk club at the Quay and it’s a great venue. During the Isolation Row Folk Festival we will be encouraging listeners to make a donation to the Quay.”

Those who are appearing will do so through specially recorded video home performances. John Hacker commented “I’ve been on a steep learning curve to get to grips with the technology but it’s all coming together! We will be streaming the event through Facebook and Youtube.”

Amongst those lined up to play are JC and Kath Grimshaw, Second Time Around and Cajun Daze. Mainland guests include Abacus, The Silver Darlings women’s shanty group and Gemma Kwahaja.

Del Seymour, manager of Quay Arts, said “We really appreciate the support of the Island folk music community. We hope to be open again before too long but in the meantime the music goes on. Please listen in to the Festival and make a donation to the Quay. ”

Readers can find out more about the Festival and stay in touch with developments by searching on Facebook for “Isolation Row Virtual Folk Festival.” To find out more please like the Facebook Page.


A timeline of the Quay’s History

It’s THROWBACK Thursday and today we share with you the timeline of Quay Arts, going all the way to the 1870s. (Click image to see full size.)

What is YOUR oldest memory of the Quay? We would love to hear your stories and see your photos. If you have any, please send them in to us!

If you like to find out more about the Quay heritage, please click here.


Chris Newnham – Plastic Mermaids

We’ve recieved this lovely message of support from Chris Newnham, from the PLASTIC MERMAIDS. Thank you! If you can spare the money you were saving for that Kashmir Cafe pint to make a donation to the Quay, we would truly appreciate it.

PLASTIC MERMAIDS have released an acoustic version of their song ‘Milk’, make sure to check it out!


HOMEART #6 – Rock Faces!

This week we are inspired by Grayson Perry’s Art Club TV show and thought it would be fun to create miniature portraits of people and animals using rocks and pebbles in place of a traditional canvas.

Materials Needed: Selection of rocks, permanent pens and paint (household, acrylic or garden).

1.Find some rocks. Flat stones work well for 2D portraits, but interestingly shaped rocks are great for 3D efforts.

2.Apply a background wash / layer of paint. If the colours are thin or light, apply more layers to deepen colour. Work on multiple rocks to avoid watching paint dry, or use a hairdryer to speed things up.

3.Aim for a likeness of your subject rather than a detailed facsimile! 

4.If you have a limited palette experiment with colour mixing or go ‘Warhol’ and choose unconventional / clashing combinations.

5.Use permanent pens over paint for fine or bold detailing. If you decide to seal your artwork with a clear varnish, make sure to use a well ventilated space.

We’d love to see your portraits of people and animals and especially celebrity rock-stars! Make sure to send in pictures of your creations to us or tag Quay Arts.

Also don’t forget to find other HOMEART activities at the Quay@Home blog!


Upcycle Orchestra Fridays – Barnaby!

Happy Friday everyone! We love sharing these videos and stories from the In Tune Upcycle Orchestra, and miss hearing the rehearsals every Friday morning.

Check out this weeks video of Barnaby…

“This week is the turn of one of the upcyle orchestra’s newest members, Barnaby. For somebody who finds it tricky to perform in front of others, I am sure you will agree this is a very fine and confident performance of Lucy in the sky with diamonds. Enjoy!!” – Darren Price, In Tune Upcycle Orchestra Facilitator.

Click here to see the video.


Throwback Thursday: The West Collection 2010

The West Collection: A Quay Vision – 2010

Some nice photos of the exhibition and activity around the show here in the public folder: public/Event Photos/Event photos 2012 and earlier/Event Photos 2010/Exhibition and other Photos by Georgia 2010/2010/The West Gallery/The West Collection 2010 Workshops and Summer School photos and openings

There is a film on this whole project but its on a cd at the Quay so I can’t access it. Might not be needed. Lots of heritage stuff here you could link with – most of which is here one our website:

The title of this ground-breaking exhibition held in 2010, ‘The West Collection: A Quay Vision’, begs the question, ‘whose vision?’ There are many perspectives: you could say, that one Sunday afternoon in 1975, Anne Lewington had the vision when she spotted a disused 19th century brewery warehouse on Newport’s quay; or perhaps it was when Christine and Michael West initiated a fundraiser in their Bembridge home ‘The Garland’; or maybe it was when Anne Toms instigated the £1,100,500 Lottery grant which completely transformed Quay Arts in 1997. You could also say that the vision is happening today, with ideas being passionately pulled together by the next generation of committed Quay Arts team members. Many people should be thanked for their vision and energy in bringing Quay Arts into being and this project celebrated them all. 

Christine and Michael West played a huge part in this exhibition, they loved the visual arts and formed a notable collection of modern British art throughout their lives together. The Wests’ only daughter, Carinthia, generously loaned her parents’ collection for this exhibition, providing an intimate and valuable insight into the lives of her parents; two fascinating individuals who contributed immensely to the creative arts on the Isle of Wight over forty years ago.

The personal revelation of how the Quay Arts building functioned in the 19th century to what it now has become has been an incredible journey. Our goal was to bring these findings to the public; in a way that was never been done before at Quay Arts. Combined with a truly inspiring art collection which belonged to a truly inspiring couple, through this we aimed to enrich peoples understanding of the history of the local area and the story of how Quay Arts came into being through community involvement.

Before Quay Arts existed, there were no venues to hold art exhibitions, a venue to allow the public to peruse and engage with contemporary art, nor artists’ studios to create work or workshops for the public to get involved. But what did exist was the desire and spirit within the hearts and minds of many artists who lived on the Isle of Wight. They had a collective passion and the drive and determination to create a hub for artists and like-minded individuals to explore art and allow the public to engage with it in a way that was unachievable elsewhere on the Isle of Wight.

With special thanks to Heritage Lottery Fund for supporting this project.