Open Call: Brewers Towner Commission

Posted on 1/11/2018

Eastbourne’s Towner Art Gallery is inviting proposals from artists and designers for a temporary art commission that will transform the exterior of the gallery building with an exceptional wall painting. The Brewers Towner Commission is part of a year-long programme celebrating ten years in the Towner building, which opened in 2009 after the gallery moved from its original home in Eastbourne’s Old Town.

The Brewers Towner Commission is a painted commission that will encompass all white rendered facades around the front, side and back of the award-winning building, which was designed by Rick Mather Architects. This exciting public artwork will be made possible with the support of Brewers Decorator Centres, with the company aiming to spark conversation and support artistic practice in Eastbourne, where the company is based, and beyond.

Artists and designers are being encouraged to develop proposals that celebrate the spirit of Towner and its location. Set back from Eastbourne’s unspoiled Victorian seafront at the entrance to the world-famous South Downs National Park, the gallery is set in East Sussex, a county with a long history of inspiring and providing refuge for artists.

the white exterior of Towner Art Gallery against a very blue sky

Towner Art Gallery exterior. Photo by Rob Walker

Founded in 1923 as an art gallery for the people of Eastbourne, Towner has been collecting and exhibiting contemporary art for the last hundred years. Today, the gallery welcomes 150,000 visitors a year and presents exhibitions of national and international importance to audiences across the UK and beyond. Towner’s programme showcases the most exciting developments in modern and contemporary art alongside displays from the internationally renowned Towner Collection.

The design for the commission will be chosen by a selection panel including Joe Hill, Director of Towner Art Gallery, Mark Brewer, Chairman of Brewers, David Dimbleby, Chairman of Towner Art Gallery and Kiera Blakey, Curator for Art on the Underground.

The successful artist, designer or collective will be awarded a fee of £5000. The production of the commission will be managed by Towner Art Gallery using a team of experienced scenic artists.

Key Dates

  • Submission deadline – 30 December 2018
  • Successful artist/designer notified – 31 January 2019
  • Public announcement of the successful proposal – February 2019
  • Production begins – April 2019
  • Launch of the completed commission – May 2019

How to apply

Before submitting your application via our online form, please prepare the following information and documents:

  • Contact details
  • Title and description of commission
  • Artist/designer biography (max. 1,500 characters)
  • A short CV (optional)
  • A document containing your proposal, offering a clear impression of the final result and including title, description/rationale and visuals (max. file size 10mb)
  • A document containing a supporting portfolio with examples of previous work (max. file size 10mb)

When you’re ready please submit your application through our online form:


About Towner

Collecting and exhibiting contemporary art for the past hundred years, Towner Art Gallery is a cultural and social asset for Eastbourne and the South East which aims to contribute towards a thriving and healthy community enriched by art and culture. The gallery presents exhibitions of national and international importance to audiences across the UK and beyond, showcasing the most exciting developments in modern and contemporary art, developing and supporting artistic practice, and providing a place for experiencing, creating and discussing art and culture. The gallery welcomes over 150,000 visitors a year and collaborates with individuals, communities and organisations to deliver an inclusive and accessible associated public programme and learning offer.

Their acclaimed Collection of almost 5000 works is best known for its modern British art – including the largest and most significant body of work by Eric Ravilious (1903-1942) – and a growing collection of international contemporary art. In 2014, Towner became an independent charitable Trust, supported by a Board of Trustees, chaired by David Dimbleby.

In 2019, Towner will celebrate ten years in the award-winning Towner building designed by Rick Mather Architects, which opened in 2009 after the gallery moved from its original home in Eastbourne’s Old Town. Towner is supported by Eastbourne Borough Council and Arts Council England through its National Portfolio Programme.

About Brewers

Brewers is the country’s leading supplier of decorating materials, we operate from a network of over 170 branches and offer a free delivery service within our trading area. Bringing you the widest range of paints, wallpapers and sundries in the market; from Albany to Bradite, Crown to Dulux, Earthborn to Farrow & Ball and everything in between, all the way through to Zinsser.

Whatever brand you are after or surface you want to coat; Brewers can supply you with the right product for the job. They are a family business and the high standard of service they aim to give our customers, both trade professionals and DIY enthusiasts, is a tradition going back over 110 years. With such a wealth of product knowledge and industry experience, Brewers can help you find the right decorating products to prepare, decorate and create beautiful interiors.