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Arts in Ryde – A New Renaissance

April 19, 2023

Ryde in 2023, is seeing a growth in arts, art businesses and cultural projects. There is a new art gallery opening on Union Street shortly which will add to the existing emerging artist venues in the Town. The Arcade is developing as a bohemian atmospheric and eclectic place to visit. Live music is available at an increasing set of places from Pickle & Dill, The Star Ale and Coffee House, Bar 74 and Veteran Pub. Appley Tower will open in 2024 after renovation and be a beach front addition to arts and education. This will generate a variety of arts events on the beaches. These venues will create a Town atmosphere of creativity and innovation. You add the annual street parades such as Ryde Carnival, Mardi Gras, and IW Parade and you start to have yearly arts programmes. There is already talk of a Ryde Fringe Festival and other events. Whether an artist or a lover of arts, Ryde is going to be a must-go place on the Isle of Wight.

The Department on Cross Street (former Elizabeth Packs building, has over £2M of funding from Arts Council to transform into a arts centre.

Monkton Arts is working at The Depository building in Nelson Street, Ryde to create ‘Montage Place’

This will become a multifunctional ‘montage’ community space in a rejuvenated building. It will be available for venue hire, art galleries, informative exhibitions, music venue, film showings, meeting space, community and cultural hub, and a shared working space. 

Everyone is invited to the exhibition launch of ‘Many Ways To The Gateway’ (see poster attached) which launches on Monday 24th April (5-7pm) and runs until Friday 2nd June. 

The exhibition aims to give a brief look at the history and future of Ryde’s many transport links, as well as advertise the dedicated informative museums on the island. 

Also, last week saw the arrival of ‘Wight Spirit‘ a huge mosaic art piece celebrating the musicians of the original IOW Festivals of 68, 69 and 70. It took artist Guy Portelli over 2 years to collect and mosaic over 100 handprints of the famous musicians. Wight Spirit will be permanently housed at Montage Place where you can place your hand on your heroes hand and have a selfie! 

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