Rochester Art Gallery
Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates
Our opening hours are: Tuesday to Saturday - 10am to 5pm
You must wear a face covering in this venue. Find out more about face coverings.
When visiting our buildings please follow social distancing guidance.
Changes to the gallery and visitor centre
We've made some changes to the gallery and visitor centre. This is to welcome you back safely.
- we'll ask all visitors to provide test and trace contact details when entering the building
- we love to receive your comments but no longer have a visitors book. You can leave a comment about an exhibition by completing a short survey. You can access the Rochester Art Gallery survey online or by scanning our new QR code in the gallery
- a maximum of 8 people is allowed in the gallery at any one time
- the visitor centre toilets are closed to the public. The toilets at Northgate are a few minutes walk away
- rear access to the building via Corporation Street remains closed
- the cafe is closed
- the cash machine (ATM) is now available to use
- hand sanitisers are available by the gallery entrance
- you can request exhibition leaflets and large print exhibition guides from the visitor centre front desk team
- artworks are available for sale
- admission to the gallery is still free
- The Huguenot Museum upstairs is now open again on Fridays and Saturdays 10am to 4pm, last admission is 3.30pm
About Rochester Art Gallery
Rochester Art Gallery features a changing programme of exciting contemporary visual art.
We hold four exhibitions every year which showcase the work of local, regional and international artists.
The gallery has a varied programme which includes curated exhibitions of fine and decorative arts. Recent shows have included textiles, craft, printmaking and painting.
Join our e-mailing list for details of exhibition previews, workshops and special events, just click the art gallery option on the list.
Visit Rochester Art Gallery
You can find the gallery in the Medway Visitor Information Centre.
Address: 95 High Street, Rochester, Kent, ME1 1LX
Tuesday to Saturday: 10am to 5pm
'Explore & Draw - Art in Lockdown'
Date: 15 August to 26 September 2020
Explore & Draw is an art group established in 2017 to encourage people to connect to their inner creative. It is open to anyone who wants to draw from still life compositions, from complete beginners to experienced artists, all are welcome.
The proud founder of E&D, Chatham based artist Luna Zsigo collaborates with heritage sites, small businesses and other intriguing spaces to create unique and exciting events across Medway.
This special exhibition will be sharing a selection of members work created in 2020 including many pieces made during lockdown via their online classes. The show promises to be a celebration of the power of creativity to excite, unite and inspire.
We are delighted to share our re-scheduled 2020 to 2021 exhibition programme
Out of Sight not Out of Mind
Date: 10 October 2020 to 14 November 2020
A brand new art project for people with sight loss making art work at home in Medway, led by Wendy Daws.
'Out of Sight Not Out of Mind' is a brand new art project for blind and visually impaired residents of the Medway Towns created by and celebrating the connections made during the time of disconnect. MESS ROOM and Peer Arts are joining forces with this often hidden community to share their voices and creative talents and show that people's creative lives continue.
The new Digital Arts Festival 'Electric Medway' will virtually showcase the beginnings of new artworks for the exhibition that also commemorates the Kent Association for the Blind’s 100th Anniversary.
- Medway Council
- The Test Bed Fund
- Medway Voluntary Action
- Befriending Together
- Medway Age UK
- Carers First
- NHS Medway Clinical Commissioning Group
- Kent Association for the Blind (KAB)
- KAB Medway Art
- MESS ROOM
- Sun Pier House
- Peer Arts
- Sparked Echo
- Electric Medway
More about Wendy Daws
Find out more about KAB on their Facebook page @KABMedwayArt
The Last Dream of My Soul – Dickens 150 Print Open Call Exhibition
Date: 5 December 2020 to 20 March 2021
This much awaited exhibition of 100 original prints created especially for the Dickens 150 Open Call competition will include work by 47 artists inspired by Dickens life and work, his special affinity with Medway and his last unfinished novel ‘The Mystery of Edwin Drood’. It will also include costume and funerary objects kindly loaned from the Guildhall Museum collection and a commemorative book.
More about The Last Dream of My Soul exhibition
The winning Mystery of Edwin Drood cover linocut print by Neil Mattingly.
'Unknown Soldier' works by David Tovey
Date: 9 July to 25 Sept 2021
David Tovey is a formerly homeless artist, educator, activist and ex-soldier.
This exhibition explores the deep-rooted questions of why life falls apart for so many ex-soldiers, leading to mental health problems, homelessness, and for some suicide. Raw, uncompromising, and sometimes brutal, the show has been 29 years in the making and poses deep questions, highlighting the struggles that people face when they leave the armed forces.
The show will include paintings, photographs, memorabilia, film and performance that documents David’s journey. At the heart of his practice is a very special quality; the ability to bring you to the subject in ways both beautiful and hard-hitting, in order to raise awareness about the social issues he tackles.
David speaks regularly at housing and homelessness events and has exhibited widely including at the ASTA Festival in Montreal, Tate Modern, and Tate Liverpool. He is the founder of the UK’s ‘One Festival of Homeless Arts’.
David Tovey - Raven
All that Remains: Thirty Years in the Making by Neil Bottle
Date: 9 October 2021 to 1 January 2022
This new body of work, first shown at Contemporary Applied arts and the Ruthin Craft Centre celebrates Neil’s 30 years as a textile designer.
Neil’s fascinating textile hangings are inspired by family photographs, a sense of time passing and how we remember things – in both real and false memories.
The textile prints are accompanied by personal, sentimental objects that were the starting point for many of the stories Neil is telling.
More about the All that Remains exhibition
Our past exhibitions have included:
- Echoes - Experiments by Zara Carpenter: Echoes looked at the artists experience of past trauma and how its echoes have come to manifest themselves as physical pain, using photographs of her body using analogue cameras and experiments to disrupt the image and its chemistry to create abstractions.
- Bizarre and Curious Silks: Hannah Robson's textiles exhibition challenged the limits imposed by the loom, exploring how threads can escape and disrupt traditional woven construction
- START: Primary Prints: over 200 children from local schools created prints and other artworks using the treasures at the Guildhall Museum as inspiration
- Painting with Cloth: Cas Holmes' exhibition 'Painting with Cloth' explored the connection between landscape, people and place. Collecting free material as she goes, Cas creates marks with cloth, paint and stitch
- Feels Like Forever Ago: showcasing the early work of Daisy Parris and Laurie Vincent. Their work is rooted in a post-punk iconographical collage style, commenting on the social fabric of the world around them
- Anatomica: Paper Textiles from the Cabinet of Curiosity Studio: showcasing the work of Caroline Collinge, exploring design and visual art in the form of paper textiles and origami
- Creative Destruction - Volcanoes inspiring art and science: exploring natural materials through sight and touch you will discover how to map out your findings in a field notebook
- The Medway Print Festival: a festival with over 40 events and activities, showcasing some of the best printmaking being created today and highlighting the fascinating local history of the medium
- Techno Fossils: Darrell Hawkins explored alternative Kent based ‘monoliths and monuments’ – overlooked, forgotten or obsolete structures across Kent that shape its current identity
- Margo Selby: Pick by Pick: showcasing a colourful exhibition of hand-woven framed textiles
- Pigmental: an exhibition of paintings by Karl Bielik
- Of Fireships and Iron: showcasing the work of 5 Medway based artists pushing the boundaries of contemporary printmaking
- Flax, Fibres and Plant Dyes: exploring the landscape of Kent for the Kent Cloth Project by Francesca Baur