New BLANK_gallery creates space for new and emerging artists

LEEDS City College has created a new blank canvas for visual artists, adding the BLANK_gallery to Leeds Cultural Quarter. Showcasing new and emerging artists on the way to being displayed in more established institutions, work will be selected on rotation by an independent panel at the new public gallery.

BLANK_ will provide visitors with an exciting and contemporary feel, further boosting the artistic and cultural credentials of the area

The BLANK_ gallery is a permanent exhibition space in the specialist Creative Arts higher education building on the new Quarry Hill Campus. Recently unveiled by Leeds City College to offer a state-of-the art facility for a broad range of subjects, from computer games design to fine art and performance, the building is adorned with a 25 metre-high mural created by artist in residence Tony Baker. Sited at the top of the newly inaugurated public Playhouse Gardens (welcoming a new installation, ‘Ribbons’, by Pippa Hale next year) and part of University Centre Leeds, BLANK_ will provide visitors with an exciting and contemporary feel, further boosting the artistic and cultural credentials of the area.  

Tom Poultney, who heads up Creative Arts at University Centre Leeds, said: “Quarry Hill Campus is an inspiring new learning environment, and the gallery will be an opportunity for members of the public to explore a full spectrum of creative disciplines. Seeing emerging artists on display at the campus will also give our students something to aspire to and feed their own creativity.  

“Visitors can expect to see a real mix of genres, which will provide a platform for up-and-coming artists. Exhibitors will be chosen by a selection panel, represented by well-established arts institutions, such as CuratorSpace, BasementArtsProject, Index Festival and Come Find Us. Every few months, exhibitors will change, and the public will continually be able to see something fresh.”

2019 10 01 Blank Leeds Opening
Guests at the opening of the new BLANK_ gallery in Leeds Cultural Quarter

On until 25 October is work by Rhian Cooke, one of the Associate Artists for the Yorkshire Sculpture International 2019, and, until 30 November, pieces by Nicola Dale, who works across sculpture, performance and image. The UCL Degree Show will run in the new space in May and June next year, and the gallery opening is complemented with the launch of an eponymous biannual publication, which looks at contemporary culture and artwork.  

Cllr Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council said: “The BLANK_ gallery at Quarry Hill Campus is a welcome addition to the creative and cultural scene of the city. It will provide a much-needed space for new artists to express themselves and give them an important profile. The city has a well-deserved reputation for the arts, and we have numerous well-established arts institutions. The BLANK_ gallery ensures that we continue to see new ideas and artists given the opportunity to have their work recognised, continuing the city’s fine tradition as a centre for the arts.”  

Open weekdays 10am-4pm, find BLANK_ at Playhouse Square, LS2 7BS.