Visual Arts

Art Galleries

Rye has always been a draw for artists and has been home to many famous artists in the past including Paul Nash, Edward Burra and John Piper (see below). Rye has a thriving art scene with regular exhibitions in the growing number of galleries. The Arts Festival includes visual arts events and there are regular open studios across the area. Art lovers can travel a short distance to the Hastings Contemporary, Towner, Turner and De La Warr – all within easy reach of Rye.

Art Galleries in Rye

There are many galleries in and around Rye, exhibiting and selling contemporary and traditional art and photography by national as well as local artists. For profiles of individual artists see blog category Artist in Focus.

Bridgepoint Rye

An international creative arts centre in the heart of Rye. A range of cultural events and exhibitions. Bridgepoint Rye

image showing architects design, Bridgepoint.

Rye Art Gallery

Rye Art Gallery has regularly changing contemporary art and craft for sale, a fine permanent collection of national and regional importance and a variety of supporting events.

Red Door Gallery

Red Door Gallery runs an enticing and diverse exhibition programme that changes every two to four weeks. Exhibitions feature a range of talented creatives including artists, sculptors, ceramicists and jewellery designers.

Roche Gallery

Roche Gallery is a contemporary art gallery and portrait studio in the heart of the ancient town of Rye, owned by Marina Kim and Tim Roche.

Ryebank Gallery

Ryebank Gallery is passionate about exhibiting and supporting a wide variety of artists; in nurturing emerging artists and in keeping connected to our wider community.

Photographic Galleries

Purdie Gallery

The Purdie Gallery is a unique gallery showcasing the contemporary landscape photography of David Purdie. They sell limited edition signed canvas prints in a range of sizes. Greetings cards and jigsaws are also available.

Just One Gallery

Clive Sawyer has been providing discerning clients with high end fine art photographs in limited editions since 2008. Over the years he started to limit the editions to just 10. Now he limits his editions to just one print.

Rye Harbour & Fairlight

Avocet Gallery & Tea Room

Based outside Rye in Rye Harbour, Avocet Gallery is run by award-winning photographer Peter Greenhalf and former journalist Morgan (who makes all the delicious cakes).

Jason Michael Art

An online gallery on the East Sussex coast with opportunity to view by appointment.

Artists in Focus

To find out more about local artists, see Artists in Focus.

Watercolour – Rye Town by Martin Bradshaw

Rye Society of Artists

Celebrating 70 years. See website for members work and exhibitions

Watercolour – Landgate Rye by Andrew Blyth

Rye’s Artistic Heritage

Paul Nash


Paul Nash lived at La Rochelle in East Street between 1925 and 1933. He came to Rye to recover from a breakdown brought on by the horrors he witnessed as a war artist during the First World War. His views on the marsh and sea are wonderful paintings, yet have a sadness about them which reflect his mental state at that time.

John Piper


John Piper painted a celebrated series of water colours of the marsh churches and lived for some time in Rye Harbour. In 1931, at the age of 28, he exhited a painting called Rose Cottage, Rye Harbour. With this picture he “found his own voice at last”, while other artists who say it would remember it as the first Piper they had seen.

Rye Art Gallery – Burra Collection

The family of Edward Burra (1905-1976) has generously loaned some letters, studio ephemera and photographs by the artist, which add to their own holdings of paintings, designs, drawings and prints by Burra. About The Collection – Rye Art Gallery

Edward Burra (1905-1976)

Was born in Rye (which he called “Tinsel town) and lived in Springfield House on Rye Hill. He was born into upper middle class respectability in the decade before Europe was plunged into war His family had money and privilege but he rebelled against both, leaving a legacy of paintings in the figurative tradition which are amongst the strangest and most distinctive of the century.

John Ryan (1922-2009)

John Ryan, author, illustrator and animator, creator of Captain Pugwash the swashbuckling pirate, lived in Rye near the Ypres Tower. Find out more about Pugwash and the work of John Ryan in the Rye Castle Museum, East Street. More can be found about John Ryan here.

Painting of smugglers by Martin Bradshaw

Three galleries along the coast

Hastings Contemporary

De La Warr, Bexhill

The Towner in Eastbourne.

All can be reached by train from Rye so use Rye as your staycation and plan your creative trail.