A church has teamed up with a nearby arts centre to launch a new gallery in its historic building.
The inaugural exhibition of the Tower Gallery in Plaistow opened last week, featuring 63 works by 16 local Newham artists.
The gallery is based in the east tower of the historic Memorial Church Community building, and marks the latest attempt by the church to use its building throughout the week for activities that help and empower people in different ways.
When it restored its tower and bells in 2011, it recognised the tower would be a good venue for a gallery.
It invited the Rosetta Art Centre to come and look. ‘We’d heard they needed places to display the work of their artists and it turned out they loved our building,’ explained Philippa King, the church’s development manager.
‘So between us we got some funding for a one-off exhibition to see if it would work, and it looks great.’
The project is supported by grants from Community First Canning Town North and Let’s Get the Party Started. Nearly 100 people attended the opening, including councillors Brian Collier, Marie Collier and Kay Scoresby.
Sanaz Amidi, Director of Rosetta Art Centre said, ‘Rosetta are proud to have collaborated with Memorial Church to transform their tower to offer an alternative contemporary art gallery to platform the exciting, bold and diverse work by Newham`s talented creative community!
‘We look forward to a continued relationship to ensure our artists have access to a range of opportunities to empower them and acknowledge the important role arts and culture plays in the continued regeneration of the area.’
There are ideas for future exhibitions, the church is exploring the possibility of an artist in residence who would work with some of the community groups that use the building, such as homeless people, families, and older people.
The exhibition is free and is open until 20 December from 11 am – 2 pm on Tuesdays-Fridays, 1 -3 pm on Saturdays and on the first Thursday of each month from 6-9 pm.