At the end of 2020 in the midst of a global pandemic, Art Scene went up for sale and we bought it, complete with stock and a space that needed some serious refurbishment.

In January 2021 we opened the new Art Scene with its shiny shop front and newly installed Italian coffee shop area with art supplies still the prominent feature.

A hatch in the window enabled us to operate as a takeaway and still comply with distancing regulations.

In 2023, the pandemic had passed but the economy was tanking, energy costs and high inflation had retail and hospitality on its knees. Stories of shop closures, restaurants pubs and coffee shops not making it were a daily occurrence. Art Scene was not immune to the external pressures, so we had to make some changes once again if we were going to survive.

Time for another refit of the shop and some decisions about what we really wanted from the space. The retail side of the business wasn’t pulling its weight and so we have pared it back to the essentials. This was a very difficult decision but rising prices and the lure of online shopping left us with no option other than to reduce our stock levels. This means we don’t have the full range that we had before, but we do have a little bit of something for everyone.

Winsor & Newton for paints, Seawhite of Brighton for pads and paper, Derwent, Lyra and Faber Castel for Pencils, Essdee for lino printing are just some of the artist materials on offer.

It is not all doom and gloom because we now have a fabulous space where we can run workshops and evening classes for budding artists, private functions including creative celebrations for adults, arty parties for kids and some great creative facilitators.

These are just some of the events happening at Art Scene.

Key Changes

One of the key changes we made last summer was the installation of a kitchen, which means we can now offer hot food such as freshly cooked soups, panini and Italian rice balls for lunch. We are also happy that we were awarded five stars for our food safety processes.

This February we began the Italian bistro nights. Every Friday and Saturday you can dine in the unique Art Scene space with great food cooked by our resident chef, Saverio. You are invited to bring your own wine and we will do the rest.

Whether you are popping in for coffee and cake, lunch, or dinner or simply to grab a few art materials you will be able to see our exhibitions of work by local artists. This month we have Judith Webster and Kath Horner as our exhibitors.

So, let me just check if I have covered everything that we now do at Art Scene:

  • Quality art supplies
  • Gifts and stationery
  • Italian coffee shop
  • Creative workshops

  • Events for adults
  • Events for children
  • Bistro nights
  • Exhibitions

The Changes over time