Now in its tenth year, the event will bring emerging galleries and artists galore to Manchester Central this October
It’s often overshadowed by its bigger Buy Art Fair sibling, but The Manchester Contemporary isn’t to be overlooked. Already the biggest of its kind outside London, the event celebrates its tenth edition this October with its largest line-up yet, bringing together emerging galleries and artists from across Britain.
Like Buy Art Fair, its partner event, The Manchester Contemporary launched at Urbis in 2008 - primarily as a showcase of graduate work - and thereafter took place in and around Spinningfields and Old Granada Studios. But its tenth year called for ‘a venue which can offer growth and continuity,’ and Manchester Central fitted the bill.
Those filling the historic railway-turned-exhibition centre include Two Queens (Leicester), Castor Projects, Copperfield, IMT, Joanna Bryant & Julian Page, The Ryder, Kristian Day (London), Gallery North (Northumbria University), Goldtapped, Vane (Newcastle), Workplace Foundation (Gateshead), Division of Labour (London/Worcester), LLE (Cardiff), Platform A (Middlesbrough), Syson (Nottingham), The Birley Studios (Preston) and Vitrine (London/Basel).
There are plenty of Manchester institutions too, from Castlefield Gallery and Paradise Works to International 3 and Islington Mill. Castlefield’s hidden gem Saul Hay - soon to celebrate its first birthday - will also be taking part, along with inclusive workshop provider Venture Arts and David Hancock’s quirky PAPER. Alumni from both the University of Salford and Manchester School of Art will also be represented.
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Speaking of the exhibitor list announcement, coordinators Paulette Terry Brien & Laurence Lane - managers of The International 3 artist agency - said: “We are delighted once again to bring to Manchester a selection of first-time exhibitors alongside regular participants, with an exciting range of work that will appeal both to the seasoned collector and the intrepid first timer.
“Year on year the fair has sought to respond to the needs of artists and exhibitors and the wider art market and it is all underpinned by our core ambition to give audiences a high-quality art viewing and art buying experience.”
As ever, The Manchester Contemporary will be joined by the Buy Art Fair: now the UK’s largest and most prestigious art fair outside London. Over 100 exhibitors are scheduled this year, alongside an extended programme of tours, demos and talks - including Pavel Büchler’s ‘in conversation with artists’ series - plus a new citywide Fringe and the annual Masterpiece charity dinner.
The event kicks off with a VIP preview on Friday 27 October (5-9pm), including an exclusive performance by art collective Plastique Fantastique in collaboration with East London’s IMT Gallery (who represents Paola Ciarska, main image). It will then be open on Saturday 28 (10am-6pm) and Sunday 29 (10am-5pm).
CEO Thom Hetherington said: “We are proud to take place in one of Europe’s most vibrant and creative cities, and delighted to have secured a new long-term home at the historic Manchester Central exhibition centre. It places us firmly at the heart of the region’s unprecedented cultural renaissance.”