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The Isle of Wight has always had a creative streak beneath its maritime and natural appeal. Its sights and culture regularly appear in literature, music and film. Now, another artistic sector can flourish too with the help of John Brandler, an art dealer wishing to open a Museum of Street Art on the island.

According to On The Wight, negotiations with his original desired location of Port Talbot are failing and leading him to look elsewhere for his vision to be realised, a project that will include works by Banksy, Damien Hirst, Kaws, Connor Brothers and more. Artistic innovation is welcome in our increasingly multi-sensory world, and the Isle of Wight, as a popular tourist destination as well as the home of thousands of people, would greatly benefit from such an attraction.

Perfect Timing

As already mentioned, we are now able to enjoy tentertainment of every kind thanks to this age’s technological advancements. While the Isle of Wight could once be considered more isolated due to its location, technology has addressed this geographical divide. From the likes of live casino entertainment that simulates poker and roulette experiences through the use of specially designed studios and live streaming technology, to VR experiences that take video gaming to whole new levels, location has been less of a constraint than ever before. However, while VR has brought art experiences such as a virtual tour of museums like The Louvre to many around the world, having an installation such as the proposed street art museum within the Isle of Wight would do much to benefit not only those who live here, but also tourism in general.

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Benefits to Isle of Wight

“Banksy Art” (CC BY 2.0) by Mark Gstohl

The island’s Visitor Monitor for the first quarter of 2019 reveals a 10% drop in tourism compared to the same period of the year before. The total money spent, however, up 39% to a whopping £301.2 million, suggests that people are interested in what the Isle of Wight has to offer and are willing to put time and funds into it. In that sense, a venture like the Museum of Street Art would be an invaluable attraction.

More than an exhibit, Brandler intends to make it a fun space for people to learn about graffiti as a globally expanding art form. The visibility and custom, expected to exceed 150,000 visitors per year, will undoubtedly improve trade for nearby businesses too. The Columbine building is currently in Brandler’s sights, but, since other companies have expressed an interest in it too, he continues to explore potential locations and encourages anyone interested in discussing the Museum’s prospects to get in touch.

If this beautiful venture does become a reality, the Isle of Wight will not be hard-pressed to find its audience. Locals and visitors alike would be thrilled to get their hands dirty with stencils and spray paint or simply admire culturally charged works by famous modern artists. The island is already known as a fun place to be, but establishing a pioneering hub for creativity and education in its midst would truly put it on the map.

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