Artworks @ The Town Hall

Artist Angela Banner with one of her works in the new gallery at Hunstanton – Credit: Chris Bishop

A new art gallery has brought a blaze of colour to a seaside town hall.

Jackie Kitch has opened her third gallery in Hunstanton in the carrstone civic building on The Green.
The ground floor, which previously held the resort’s tourist information centre, is now filled with paintings, photographs, art works and crafts.

Mrs Kitch, 57, previously ran Naked in Norfolk on Westgate before moving to the Coal Shed, part of the now defunct railway station by the seafront.
She was planning to retire at the end of the summer season last year but changed her mind when she heard the town hall was available.
“I couldn’t resist it,” she said. “I think Hunstanton’s booming at the moment, there’s no empty shops. People on their staycations have realised how wonderful the Norfolk coast is.
Artists love the sunsets and the big sky beaches.”

More than 40 have their works on show at the gallery, called Artworks @ The Town Hall.

Painter Angela Banner said: “We are so blessed to have such beautiful beaches and wildlife reserves. There is always so much inspiration in Norfolk.”

Jackie Kitch (left) and Esther Marshall in the new gallery at Hunstanton – Credit: Chris Bishop

Many of those exhibiting are members of the West Norfolk Artists Association.
Its chair Esther Marshall said: “It’s a fantastic location, I think Jackie’s done an amazing job.
It’s so lovely for local artists to have somewhere to exhibit their work.”

Lockdown made many seek solace in their art. Helena Anderson, who ran the Gaywood Arts Centre in King’s Lynn for 15 years before retiring to the coast, said: “Just putting paint on a paintbrush, on a canvas is therapeutic.
During Covid a lot of art clubs would give us a challenge, like ‘paint Norfolk in the style of the French Impressionists’.”

Jackie and Graham with Helena Anderson (right)

Former carpenter Tom Inglis turned to art full-time during lockdown, putting down his tools and taking up painting, using reclaimed timber as his canvas.
“This was something I really wanted to do,” he said. “Two years ago, when the first lockdown started, I had six weeks to myself, and I was painting every day.
I had about 50 paintings, so I decided to try to sell them.”

The youngest artist is Olly Thornalley, a 12-year-old from King’s Lynn, whose abstract works are featured.

Artworks @ The Town Hall is open from Friday – Monday, 10am – 5pm.