Moments art exhibition raises Suffolk town’s £ 350,000 potential
A modern art exhibition that would have inspired Banksy’s ‘spraying’ along the east coast could have brought in up to £ 350,000 for a town’s economy – and could be staged across the UK at the future.
Over 20,000 people attended the Moments exhibit at Moyse’s Hall Museum in Bury St Edmunds, while 900 other students visited on tours organized by the West Suffolk Council Heritage Team.
The moments included original work by international artists such as Banksy, Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, Rachel List, Pure Evil and My Dog Sighs and have drawn visitors from as far away as Cardiff, Edinburgh, Cornwall, Cumbria and the Island of Wight.
Over the summer, the work of mysterious street artist Banksy has surfaced along the Suffolk and Norfolk coast.
The success of the exhibition could be considerable as the West Suffolk Council – which operates Moyse’s Hall – is currently working with City Culture Peterborough to present the exhibition in Peterborough, with the possibility of touring across the UK from 2022.
Essex-based international art dealer John Brandler, of Brandler Galleries, who provided the majority of the artwork in the exhibition, said: “It has been an absolute pleasure to work with the West Suffolk Council to create , package and market this truly unique exhibition.
“I am delighted that the exhibition has drawn people from all over to Bury St Edmunds and the feedback from visitors to the exhibition has been delightful.
“Attracting over 20,000 visitors to the exhibition is a monumental achievement, especially considering the exhibition marketing campaign which had to start during the lockdown without knowing if and when the exhibition would take place. “
Following a survey of visitors to the exhibition with 363 responses, the council was able to estimate that the event could have contributed more than £ 359,000 to the local economy.
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Jo Rayner, a member of the Leisure and Culture Cabinet at West Suffolk Council, said: “It has injected money into the local economy and created tremendous enthusiasm with Banksy’s artwork – and some knockoffs – which have appeared all over East Anglia. “
Sue Warren, brand and marketing manager for Bury St Edmunds and Beyond, said after speaking to their hosting providers, there was “no doubt” that Moments – which ran from May to October – contributed to “exceptional summer season” in the city.
“This was a unique, high-quality exhibition outside of London that featured world-renowned artists and, despite this year’s challenges, attracted people from outside the region to visit Bury St Edmunds “she said.
The West Suffolk Council is currently working to organize a new exhibition of international artists in 2023.