February 27, 2019
The gallery opened on 28 November 2008. It was an enormous leap of faith when, at the time, Margate was not the focus for creativity that it is today.
Since it’s opening, Lombard Street Gallery has curated over 100 exhibitions for the public to enjoy and art lovers to buy.
Throughout this time, these shows have encouraged new artists to flourish, enabled established artists to grow and have always proudly supported local talent & ventures, which is an incredible achievement to celebrate!
Ten exhibition celebrated 10 years of Lombard Street Gallery in Margate.
How it started
Ten years ago Janet Williams saw an amazing opportunity. Her job at that time, working for the NHS, had always encompassed a degree of creativity but she was keen to try something new. In 2008 a building on Lombard Street became available for Janet to develop and it was then that her appreciation of the arts had the space to blossom.
In the beginning
Lombard Street Gallery took a lot of work to turn it into the light, bright airy space that is open to the public today. Margate looked very different ten years ago. Whilst the high street was busier, with an M&S and Woolworths, there was no Turner Contemporary or regenerated Dreamland. Margate did however, have what it has always had, a strong community of people who value art & creativity.
This group of passionate individuals set up ‘Margate Rocks’, of which, Janet became a part. It saw the potential in the, then mostly boarded up, Old Town buildings. The Margate Rocks team worked hard to enable artists to take on short 10-day pop-up exhibitions. Janet said this was key to informing her next steps, she saw first hand how art could ‘bring a place alive’.
Not only was the Old Town transformed by pushing creativity to the fore, Janet was instrumental in opening the pathway for regeneration.
Lombard Street Gallery today
Janet’s leap of faith and commitment to invest, not just in the physical building that became the gallery but in the creativity of the local artists and art lovers, is what has enabled Lombard Street Gallery to thrive.
The gallery has exhibited over 100 shows over the last ten years. “One of my favourites,” says Janet “was an annual event we ran for five years entitled ‘Pushing Print’. Pushing print was the inspiration of Dawn Cole and it comprised of an open print exhibition at the gallery and Pie Factory. The exhibition also ran a supporting educational print program and one year, it even had a steam roller set up in the old town to produce enormous prints for the public to see”.
Lombard Street Gallery opened its doors in Oct 2008 with an exhibition of local artists work, some of which, still show in the gallery today. Current exhibiting artists like Andy Touhy, Anthony Giles, Claire Gill, Hugh Ribbans, Ruth McDonald, Greg Bottle, David Mullet, Nick Kelly are supported to develop their creativity through Lombard Street Gallery’s dedication and sound, professional business practice.
Janet is quietly understated about her amazing achievement. People who know Janet, know that this calm, measured attitude is a large part of why Lombard Street Gallery is such a success. It’s commitment to art over the last ten years has never waivered and we are proud to present just some of the kind things Lombard Street Gallery’s artists say about us and our ten year anniversary:
I love British seaside towns and Lombard Street Gallery celebrates the “best” Margate has to offer, it is a joy to exhibit there in the heart of my favourite place in Kent.
To celebrate ten years of Lombard Street Gallery I’ve created a unique piece of work exploring time.
Lombard Street Gallery has given constant support and encouragement to my linocuts ever since the early days of Pushing Print & the famous steam roller printing. Long may it continue to provide lively, innovative and absorbing exhibitions.
LSG is about to celebrate ten years success this year. Having weathered vicissitudes of time and place, it fully has supported so very many artists over the years and is now held in high regard not just in Margate but in the south east. It would seem the tide has now turned in Margate with regard to the arts these days, in no small part due to the fact that LSG have a firm belief in our town.
I love being part of the Lombard Street Gallery community. Janet and the team have made me feel part of the family and being there to meet fellow artists and people who have bought my work is always very special.
Lombard Street Gallery is a rare gem. It attributes to each piece of art the same value and integrity its original creator hoped to imbued the work with, for which I am incredibly grateful. Happy 10th Birthday Lombard Street Gallery & thank you for all you do.
I have enjoyed exhibiting my work with Lombard Street Gallery for many years now and wish them warm congratulations on their tenth birthday.
I was one of the first artists to work with Janet, at her newly opened gallery, back in 2008. We were both novices at the time and long before the Turner Contemporary’s existence, Janet, with artists like myself, showed work and supported the art scene in Margate. I’m so happy to celebrate ten years of the gallery’s existence … and wish them many more.
We are delighted to be included in the tenth anniversary exhibition celebrating this important milestone in Lombard Street Gallery’s life and wish them many more years of continued success.
I was delighted to have a solo show ‘Scratching the Surface: explorations in chalk’ at Lombard Street Gallery in 2017 because the work itself was made from chalk found in Margate. It felt appropriate for my pieces to have their first outing in their place of origin. The gallery were very organised and made it a pleasurable experience to show with them, hosting my talk for a POW! event which was a full-house thanks to their networking and advertising.
I have been exhibiting with Lombard Street Gallery since 2010 and as a Thanet-based artist it has been a really important showcase and constant champion of my work.
My first solo show since moving to Margate was at the Lombard Street Gallery, this opportunity to introduce my work to the town, and of course to its visitors was tremendously valuable. LSG shows the work of a wonderful range of artists, so it’s always good fun to be included in group shows here.