15 August, 2019

Margate’s iconic Sunshine Cafe opens to the public for new contemporary art exhibition

Landmark on Margate seafront, the former Sunshine Cafe, will open its doors again for the first time since 2011.

The 1930s Grade II* listed building is the venue for a five week long contemporary art exhibition featuring past Turner Prize winners and nominees.

Opening on Friday 13 September the exhibition We Must Cultivate our Garden’ will raise funds for new arts and education charity The Sixteen Trust. As part of the exhibition, pieces created by members of the local community who have been attending weekly art workshops will be on display. They will be shown alongside the work from former Turner Prize winners and nominees including Margate’s Tracey Emin, Damien Hirst and Jeremy Deller.  

Cllr Bob Bayford, Leader of Thanet District Council said: “The Sunshine Cafe is an iconic building in Margate and has a rich history. Opening the space up as a gallery will give people the opportunity to see some outstanding contemporary art, as well as a chance to get up close to one of Margate’s finest architectural gems. 

“It’s wonderful to see Margate’s rising profile as a creative destination of choice, with the Turner Prize coming to the town to reinforce that view. This project is a fantastic example of how working in partnership we can harness, art, education and location to forge new connections and shift perspectives.”

Lee Cavaliere, exhibition curator and founder of The Sixteen Trust said: “We are delighted to be bringing the work some of contemporary arts’ greatest artistic talents to Margate. This project will raise money for the Sixteen Trust.  The charity’s core focus is on creating opportunities for young people with historically low engagement with the arts. Thanet Council has been supportive from the outset and we’ve really worked positively together to bring the exhibition to fruition.” 

Thanet District Council has worked in partnership with the exhibition organiser and founder of The Sixteen Trust to facilitate the reopening of the space which is usually closed to the public. As a Grade 2* listed building there have been few opportunities to access it in recent years. Restoration work to the windows was competed in 2017.

The Sunshine Cafe exhibition We Must Cultivate our Garden’ will be open Friday to Sunday from 12pm until 5pm, Friday 13 September to Friday 18 October 2019.

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