Stop plans to close the OTTER GALLERY at the University of Chichester

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Stop plans to close the OTTER GALLERY at the University of Chichester

The University of Chichester plans to close the Otter Gallery on the 7th of October 2018, at the end of its forthcoming exhibition ‘Conflicting Views – Pacifist  Artists’.    It is Chichester’s only free public art gallery with a permanent collection. Closing the art gallery is said to create space for the university’s other priorities. It is not explained why other space cannot be found for the gallery.

As an alternative to the current Otter Gallery, the university’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Catherine Harper, proposes that artworks from the collection will be ‘more widely distributed across the campuses’ and that ‘the distributed Otter Gallery will have at its heart the Executive corridor of University House.’ It is envisaged that exhibitions, events and talks will continue to take place there.

These plans are unworkable, since much of the Otter Collection’s main works of 20th century British art are too valuable to be safely shown outside a designated gallery. The planned ‘distributed Otter Gallery’ would also lose its Arts Council England accredited status. Depriving it of the associated benefits, and making it difficult to obtain works of art on loan from external sources. Private sponsorship and future donations to the collection will likewise be affected by the loss of an accredited gallery to display work safely and to professional standards.

We need to act as a matter of urgency before the gallery that has built a national reputation over the past twenty years is closed with no purpose-built space of a similar quality to replace it: https://ottergallery.wordpress.com/

If you believe that art galleries contribute to an excellent wide-ranging education for students, staff and the wider community, please sign this petition against the closure of the Otter Gallery.



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Anne Purkiss needs your help with “c.harper@chi.ac.uk: Stop plans to close the OTTER GALLERY at the University of Chichester”. Join Anne and 2,158 supporters today.