Like a Local: Top 10 Art Galleries in Brighton

by Lizzie Davey  |  Published October 21, 2016

Brighton is well-known as a creative hub. With two universities and a thriving arts scene, it’s no wonder there are so many independent galleries to explore. And, set down the winding alleyways of the lanes and throughout the bustling centre, these arty finds are well worth a visit.

A typical view across Brighton beach (Photo: Pavlina Jane via Flickr)

A typical view across Brighton beach (Photo: Pavlina Jane via Flickr)

1. Phoenix Brighton

The Phoenix Gallery is set inside a classy glass building opposite the magnificent structure of St. Peter’s Church. Throughout the space, there are more than 100 studios and rooms for short-term projects, as well as a gallery and education programme. Four times a year, the gallery space is switched up to show a new array of professional artists in a creative space, ranging from sculpture shows and fine art displays to craft events and independent art fairs. Definitely worth popping in if you’re passing by on the way into town.

10-14 Waterloo Pl, Brighton BN2 9NB

2. IO Gallery

Set in the heart of the North Laine against a backdrop of cobbled streets and vintage stores, IO Gallery brings art lovers a hearty dose of local talent. The majority of exhibitions on show here present local Brighton designers and makers who work in all sorts of different mediums and with different practices. Dating back to 1997, this is one of the older arty offerings in the city, stocking a constant collection of pieces that cater to every taste and interest.

Inside the IO Gallery (Photo: via IO Gallery)

Inside the IO Gallery (Photo: via IO Gallery)

39 Sydney St, Brighton BN1 4EP

3. Art At 5

Located in the heart of the famous Lanes, under the gaze of the impressive Town Hall, Art At 5 gives visitors an elegant look into the local talent. Since it’s birth eleven years ago, the gallery has become known as one of the leading contemporary art galleries in Sussex, and has regular exhibitions showcasing the finest talent from the region. “Our aim is to make acquiring art an easy and enjoyable experience in a friendly and informal environment,” says the gallery.

5 Bartholomews, Brighton BN1 1HG

4. Onca Gallery

Dedicated to all things ecological and sustainable, Onca Gallery brings something a little different to Brighton’s art scene. Set under the watchful eye of St. Peter’s Church, the gallery aims to “inspire creativity and positive action in the face of environmental change.” Today, the gallery acts as an important hub for talking about the arts and ecology, with regular performances, exhibitions, and events that rest on the crux of the two. Above the gallery, a research and studio space is in regular use by creative freelancers, charities, and universities who are constantly exploring the “benefits of creative co-working and multidisciplinary collaboration.”

14 St George’s Pl, Brighton BN1 4GB

5. Two Kats and a Cow

You can find this quirky little gallery tucked away along the seafront, overlooking the classic pebbled beach that Brighton is so well-known for. Owned by Kathryn Matthews and Katty McMurray (hence the Two Kats name), it brings together a collection of their own prints and oil paintings, as well as art from fellow creatives in the area. “We aim to bring you the very best in limited edition screen prints, fabulous and quirky ceramics by exciting new artists and contemporary jewellers,” they say.

167 Brighton Square S, Kings Road Arches, Brighton BN1 1NB

Kathryn and Katty outside Two Kats and a Cow (Photo: via Two Kats and a Cow)

Kathryn and Katty outside Two Kats and a Cow (Photo: via Two Kats and a Cow)

6. Fabrica

Located inside a beautiful old Regency church right in the heart of city centre, Fabrica is a visual arts organisation that showcases regular commissioned exhibitions designed specifically for the space. Focusing heavily on installations, it provides a place for artists to make new work, as well as a place where the general public can question specific themes and issues via a variety of talks and events surrounding each exhibition. Alongside every new installation, there is a packed roster of educational programmes, audience development activities, and engagement events to encourage participation from the audience.

Duke St, Brighton BN1 1AG

"The Blue Route" exhibition by Kaarina Kaikkonen at Fabrica (Photo: via Fabrica)

“The Blue Route” exhibition by Kaarina Kaikkonen at Fabrica (Photo: via Fabrica)

7. Corridor Gallery

The brainchild of Brighton-based makers and artists, Corridor Gallery offers an exhibition and retail space in the middle of Brighton’s creative scene. Each month, a new exhibition unfolds, showcasing the work of local creators and artisans. As well as presenting pieces in an exhibition style, Corridor also has an on-site store where visitors can get their hands on their very own contemporary pieces of art. Launched only in 2015, it has quickly become a vibrant place that transforms each month to fit a specific theme.

28 York Pl, Brighton BN1 4GU

An exhibit at Corridor Gallery (Photo: via Corridor Gallery)

An exhibit at Corridor Gallery (Photo: via Corridor Gallery)

8. Cameron Contemporary Art

Run by a husband and wife team, Cameron Contemporary Art is the permanent home of what was once a travelling exhibition that hit up shows in London, Scotland, and Sussex, as well as major UK art fairs. Today, the gallery showcases a regularly-changing display of established and emerging British artists, presenting all kinds of mediums, from traditional to modern, figurative to abstract, and everything in between. Alongside the eight exhibitions run annually, there is a collection of sculpture, ceramics, and jewellery on show for visitors to buy.

1 Victoria Grove, 2nd Avenue, Brighton and Hove BN3 2LJ

Inside Cameron Contemporary Art (Photo: via Cameron Contemporary Art)

Inside Cameron Contemporary Art (Photo: via Cameron Contemporary Art)

9. Laughing Dog

Set just outside of Brighton’s city centre in the vibrant Marina, Laughing Dog is a family-run affair that showcases the work of local talent throughout the year. Hear, you can sample a little bit of everything, from photography, to music and philosophy. Creativity is the name of the game, while the on-site café serves up a delectable selection of coffee and café for you to tuck into while perusing the works on display. “Our ethos is to keep striving for quality, to support local products and businesses and to be adaptable,” says the gallery.

Unit 31, Brighton Marina, Brighton BN2 5WA

10. University of Brighton Gallery

Located inside the Grand Parade campus of Brighton University, the on-site gallery is so much more than just a place to showcase the work of students. In fact, the space hosts regular exhibitions throughout the year, bringing big-name artists and emerging talent to the general public. Alongside thematic exhibitions and displays, there are usually educational programmes and events that take place in the neighbouring Sallis Benney Theatre, where key speakers dig deeper into the topics at hand.

58-67 Grand Parade, Brighton BN2 0JY