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South Downs Heritage Centre

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Over 2000 visitors at opening weekend of Art Exhibition

3rd May 2016

One of Brighton & Hove’s Artists Open Houses newest venues, the South Downs Heritage Centre in Hassocks, saw over 2,000 visitors on its opening weekend. 

The art exhibition, which has been set up by a group of nine Sussex based artists, features a wide range of different art styles. From stone and metal sculpture to ceramics, stained glass and watercolours, there is something that will appeal to every taste. 

“We have been completely overwhelmed with all the fantastic feedback we’ve had about the space and the art” said Martin Nee, resin artist and one of the exhibition organisers. “I sold four pieces over the weekend, so I am worried I may run out of work to sell by the end of May!”

The artists will be taking it in turns to steward the exhibition throughout the duration of the event, but they will now have to call on the help of each other as well as friends and relatives to help out during peak times. “Visitors love to speak to the artist, to find out about their inspirations and influences” said pastel artist Wendy Standen from Brighton. “It definitely makes a big difference when we are here to talk about our work.” 

The first May bank holiday weekend is when people want to get jobs done in their garden and the exhibition saw a boost in numbers from customers to the garden centre next door, South Downs Nurseries. One happy customer said, “I came out to buy some compost and I’m going home with a painting my husband has just bought me for an early 60th birthday present!”

The exhibition is open at the South Downs Heritage Centre at South Downs Nurseries in Hassocks every day from 10-4pm until 30th May. For further information on the other houses and 1,200 artists taking part this year, visit

(Photo courtesy of Leroy Brown Photography)


Heritage Centre Opening Hours

Monday - Saturday: 9am - 5:30pm
Sunday: 10am - 4:30pm

The Barn Coffee Shop & Restaurant Opening Hours

Monday - Saturday: 9am - 5:30pm
Sunday: 10am - 4:30pm

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The South Downs Heritage Centre is located at South Downs Nurseries, part of the Tates of Sussex Garden Centre Group