While the Isle of Wight is a wonderful place to embark on a blustery hike thanks to its rugged and varied landscape, or to while away an afternoon or two in its eccentric range of museums, there’s also a thriving local arts scene which is evident in its superb collection of art galleries. Many are small and family-run, proudly displaying the mixed-media work of passionate local artists.
Seaview Art Gallery, Isle of Wight | Courtesy of Seaview Art Gallery
This lovely gallery displays the work of around 40 featured artists from all over the island. As well as a wide variety of paintings, sketches and prints, the gallery also has jewellery, pottery, model boats and antique collectables on sale. The Seaview Gallery, which does its best to champion and promote small local businesses, lives up to its name, just a short walk from the blustery seafront.
The independent glass blowing studio and gallery produces exquisite hand-blown pieces of art which take inspiration from their stunning island surroundings. This is a family-run business that’s been going for more than 20 years, making entirely unique objects from pots and vases to bowls, light fittings, and much more. Pop along to this friendly space to check out some of the colourful creations and even buy a one-off souvenir from your island visit.
Shanklin Gallery, Isle of Wight | Courtesy of Shanklin Gallery
This cute little shop offers high quality picture framing and has a charming gift shop alongside the collection of varied artworks displayed on its gallery walls. A family business with strong Isle of Wight connections and roots, the Shanklin Gallery promotes the work of both up and coming and established island creatives. Snap up some greetings card or prints as a take-home memory of your stay on this pretty isle.
Slap bang on Ventnor’s gorgeous Victorian seafront is the Neil Williams Gallery. It showcases a wonderful selection of photographs, including panoramas and scenes of land, sea, and cityscapes too. Its namesake, photographer Neil Williams, is clearly passionate about his art and has lived on the Isle of Wight with his partner and their two daughters since 2012.
This popular gallery can be found on the windswept seafront of Cowes. Specialising in marine art, they also have a large variety of other pieces on display, including paintings both traditional and modern, sculptures and fascinating antiques too. Pop in to find out about their exhibitions (hosted throughout the year) and maybe even pick up a piece for your own collection.
This smart gallery in the dreamy seaside village of Bembridge is filled with gems. Divided into four rooms, the space displays the work of modern British painters from the 20th century onwards. With works by a huge range of artists, this is a lovely little place to stop by and gaze at the glorious still-lifes, enchanting portraits and swirling seascapes among the collection.
With a petite collection and a great range of prints for sale, the Afton Gallery is another pleasant place to enjoy some art and buy a few souvenirs if you’re that way inclined. Along a sunny side street and with blooming flower boxes either side of its doors, this quaint spot is a wonderful slice of the island, with gorgeous canvases and pretty postcards to choose from, suitcase permitting.