Castlefield Gallery at 30

Best Practice Exchange

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In 2014 Castlefield Gallery in Manchester celebrates thirty years of developing artists’ practice and engaging audiences with new art.

Castlefield Gallery (CG) was founded in 1984 by artists and art lovers who got together to build a gallery to showcase emerging contemporary artists, and since then has been one of Northern England’s most active and successful organisations for developing emerging contemporary artists and practice. Its ambitious programme of curated exhibitions responds to national and international trends, promoting artists at key stages of their careers, including Turner Prize nominees and winners, and exhibitors at international festivals. Central to CG’s activities is an artist development programme that has launched major commission winning artists.

Director Kwong Lee said:

I am really excited about Castlefield Gallery’s 30th year in artist development and exhibiting new contemporary art to audiences in Manchester and beyond. In 2014, we have curated exhibitions with exceptional Manchester based painter Iain Andrews; a project about art and education with Bob and Roberta Smith and The Koestler Trust; and our Asia Triennial Manchester project with Asian artists based in the UK. We round off the year with an exhibition (provisionally titled 30/30) that connects our past to future generations, where we invite artists and curators we have worked with to nominate 30 emerging UK based artists.

“2014 will also be a big year for our off-site opportunities. As well as continuing with our New Art Spaces Leigh and New Art Spaces Widnes where local artists are using temporary vacant shops and offices as workspace and exhibition spaces, we officially launch New Art Spaces Federation House, a large property near Victoria Train Station, for individual artists, artist groups and artist development agencies to use as project spaces under licence. So far we have gained the support of Maria Balshaw (Director of Whitworth and Manchester Art Galleries, and Manchester City Council’s Strategic Lead for Culture) and Alison Clark-Jenkins (Director Combined Arts and North for Arts Council England) to help us launch the 8-storey building for emerging artists and art practice on Thursday 13 March 2014.”

As a committed member of CVAN, Castlefield Director Kwong Lee has also recently taken over as Joint Chair of Contemporary Visual Arts Manchester (one of our 3 NW Network groups). CVAN sees Castlefield Gallery as a key member of our National Network, and their recently completed report on Analysing Artist’s Continual Professional Development (CPD) in Greater Manchester is now being shared here with the National Network. It can be downloaded by clicking here