All for art at Bargate

Publication: The Daily Echo
Written by: David Newble

Dozens of business and civic leaders crowded into Southampton’s most emblematic building to mark its rebirth as a contemporary gallery. The medieval Bargate – once the entrance to the old walled city – has had a £70,000 makeover and is now home to an arts centre which aims to showcase young artistic talent. The prestigious project has been paid for with cash from the South East of England Development Agency, the city council and Cassini building services.

Guests at the glittering champagne reception on Thursday night were treated to a special preview of its first exhibition dubbed ‘Affirmation’ by Southampton born artist Sarah Misselbrook. The refurbished building which will be known as the bargate monument gallery, is being run by Southampton arts group a space. As well as staging exhibitions by contemporary artists it will double as a conference venue and will also aim to become a centre for the creative arts in the city.

City Council leader Adrian Vincent said: “What is great is that Southampton’s historic emblem is now open to the public. It will help put Southampton on the map as a regional cultural centre.”

Jackie Edwards from a space added: “The creative industries feel that this is the future for them in Southampton. It is a driving force and can form a focal point.”