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Leigh-on-Sea Town Council 1996

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Artist in Residence 

Leigh Community Centre offers the use of its attic space to house an Artist in Residence. This position is appointed by Leigh-on-Sea Town Council who hope to work with the appointee to provide creative ideas and artistic services to the Leigh-on-Sea community. All types of art will be considered on a yearly lease for the space.

The next round of applications will be in early 2022, with the position available from April 2022. If you would like to register interest for the residency please contact 

 Susan Allen - Artist in Residence 2021 - 2022 

Leigh-on-Sea Town Council are extremely pleased to announce their new Artist in Residence  for 2021-2022. Local artist, Susan Allen will be taking on the position, based in the studio space at Leigh Community Centre.

Life in Leigh-on-Sea is a source of endless inspiration for Susan, who has lived here since the 1980’s when she moved from her home country of Canada. She has been part of the Leigh Art Trail since 1999 and also regularly teaches in the area and runs life drawing sessions.

Susan has exciting plans for her time at the centre. Keen to share her love of the local landscape with the community, Susan will be offering on-location drawing sketching and painting groups throughout the summer. Small groups will then be guided through the process of developing sketches into completed works, exploring different media and techniques in a safe environment. Making these skills accessible regardless of age or ability sits at the core of Susan’s teaching philosophy and approach to art, and it’s clear through her time spent in the classroom with everyone from young children to retired students that this is something she’ll be continuing throughout her residency. Susan will also continue to offer the Life Drawing Scholarship for students and adults to learn and experience life drawing.  “I truly believe that art is for everyone, whether you’re a beginner or more experienced. Art is great for your mental health too, the relaxation and positivity that it encourages can have a really deep and lasting effect.”

Working alongside the Town Council’s Art Group, Susan will also assist in the creation of exhibitions of all art forms on the Community Art Wall, within the Community Centre.

View more of Susan's work by visiting her Instagram page.


Free Summer Art Sessions

Leigh-on-Sea Town Council are excited to announce a number of free art sessions happening this summer, run by their current Artist in Residence; Susan Allen.

Local artist, Susan, is well known on the Southend art scene and has run different art classes and groups for many years. She began her residency at Leigh Community Centre in April this year.

Susan is running the sessions free of charge to help engage the community in creating art based on their surroundings. Attendees will still need to book a place on the sessions and bring their own supplies. However, sketchbooks and some equipment can be made available for a nominal cost.

The sessions are as follows:

  • 6th July – 1pm - 3pm - Walk and Draw at Two Tree Island
  • 19th July – 10am - 12pm - On Location Water Colour Painting on Leigh Marshes
  • 29th July – 2pm - 4pm Developing sketches into paintings in the attic – limited to 4 people
  • 7th August - 2pm - 4pm – Family Walk and Draw in Belfairs Woods
  • 16th August – 10am - 12pm - On Location Water Colour Painting in Belfairs Woods
  • 26th August – 2pm - 4pm Developing sketches into paintings in the attic – limited to 4 people

If raining, dates will be rearranged. To book email:

Artist in Residence History 

Leigh Community Centre had been an arts hub for Leigh-on-Sea since the Town Council took over the building in 2012. We ask each of our Artist's in Residence to leave behind a legacy piece to mark their time at the Centre. Our previous artists in residence at Leigh Community Centre are as follows... 

2019 - 21 - Kerry Doyland (extended due to COVID-19)

2017 - 18 - Leigh Art Trail 

2016 - 17 - Mary Lister

2013 - 16 - Madelaine Hanman-Murphy

Mary Lister's Legacy Piece