Throwback Thursday: Quay Arts Heritage

It’s #TBT today and we want to throw it way back…
These pictures were taken around 1978.
The current Quay Arts building was originally known as the Porter Store. It was used as a bonded warehouse by Mew Langton’s Brewery where Island-brewed beers were stored on the ground floor, and spirits stored on the first. Mew Langton’s sold The Porter Store to Strong of Romsey, who sold it on to Whitbread in 1969.
In 1975, Anne Lewington stumbled upon the now abandoned warehouse and thought it would make a perfect venue for an arts centre for the island. A steering committee was formed in 1976 and they met for the first key time in Calverts Hotel in Quay Street. Many island artists were involved as well as representatives from the Isle of Wight Council and the Island MP Steve Ross.
In 1982, The Quay Arts Centre was officially named by Sir Hugh Casson and the Michael West Gallery was named in honour of Sir Michael West who had helped to raise funds for the Arts Centre. A bequest of paintings was also received from the Basil Green estate.
To find out more about Quay Arts Heritage please click here.
What are your favourite memories of the Quay?

The Great Leap Forward Exhibition

With our galleries being shut, we want to try bring you as much as possible from our current exhibition to online…

Artwork created by school pupils for the Great Leap Forward exhibiton.

THE GREAT LEAP FORWARD EXHIBITION was our last (and still) current show on at Quay Arts in the West Gallery, but sadly came to an abrupt end to the Covid-19 crisis. The Great Leap Forward Exhibition is a group exhibition of work created by local school children from across the Island reflecting upon the heritage of the Isle of Wight and theme of ‘The Future’, drawing inspiration from, and celebrating the Lift The Lid project and commissions.

Phlegm’s ‘Ventnor Giant mural

What is Lift the Lid?

Lift the Lid on Island Culture is a 2 year project focused on four brand new art commissions, the aim being to reignite a sense of pride and passion in the cultural heritage of the Isle of Wight. The project, led by the IW Cultural Education Partnership, involved schools, key artists, community groups, arts and heritage organisations, with local community workshops and school sessions. The final phase, The Great Leap Forward is a celebration of the art commissions and a call to explore the future of culture on the Island through the eyes of young people.

BACK & FORTH – A film by artist Dmitri Galitzine🎥🎞
One of the four commissioned pieces of art for the Lift the Lid project, Back and Forth, a film by Dmitri Galitzine, is online for all to watch and enjoy…

💗Show your LOVE to the QUAY💗 With care and concern for our staff and visitors, we have temporarily closed to the public. As most of you will know, Quay Arts is a charity that can only exist with the active and generous support of people like you. Please help us continue to support the cultural life of our Island community through this difficult time and in the future by making a donation today

Quay News Quay@Home

Show your LOVE for the QUAY

As most of you will know, Quay Arts is a charity that can only exist with the active and generous support of people like you. Together, we can continue to support the cultural life of our Island community through this difficult time and in the future.

We have launched an online Gift Voucher which can be purchased now and redeemed in the future key when we resume normal activity. The voucher can be used in our Craft Shop, Café, or to purchase a ticket for an event, course or workshop. We really are relying on the support and love from all you wonderful people right now. Please keep safe, be sensible and get creative.

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.

Exhibitions Quay News Take Part News

Volunteer Stewards needed!

Quay Arts is looking to grow its team of volunteer stewards! If you are able to spare a few hours a week – on a regular or ad-hoc basis – we’d love to hear from you.

Stewards play a vital role in ensuring our galleries are always open to the public as well as welcoming key visitors.

A typical shift is 3 hours in the morning / afternoon. Seating plus a voucher for drink & cake is provided to our stewards for each shift.

If you’d like to join the team / know more please contact Ian Whitmore, Visual Arts Manager, Quay Arts