Our top 5 galleries and exhibition spaces in Manchester
Moving to a brand new city for university (possibly one you’ve not spent a great deal of time in before) is a hugely daunting experience and one that we’re all familiar with here at The Mancunion! In Manchester however, you can rest assured that no matter what your interests, this vibrant, bustling and diverse city will have something to offer you. As well as its infamous music scene, Manchester is home to a plethora of art venues, galleries and exhibition spaces, which all contribute to the city’s reputation as a cultural hub within the North West. We decided to list five of the most exciting and accessible places to see art in Manchester, and if you find yourself a little light on funds after a hectic week of Freshers’ events then you’ll be pleased to know that all of these places offer free admission: what are you waiting for?
HOME, Tony Wilson Place, First Street, Manchester, M15 4FN
One of the newest additions to Manchester’s art scene is HOME, founded in 2015 through a merger of two of the city’s best-known arts institutions, Cornerhouse and the Library Theatre Company. Housing theatre space, several cinema screens and a restaurant, HOME has certainly made its mark on both fans of stage and screen. Little known however, is its fantastic gallery and exhibition space, which is undoubtedly the trendiest place to see the most cutting edge contemporary art.
Whitworth Art Gallery, Oxford Road, Manchester, M15 6ER
As a student at the University of Manchester, you’d be hard-pressed to find a university campus which offers more culture right on its very doorstep. Just a short walk away from the main campus is the historic Whitworth Art Gallery, which has been part of UoM’s assets since 1889. Having undergone huge renovations in 2014-15, the gallery now boasts a beautiful glass-filled interior, bringing a modern feel to a place well-known for its former displays of the works of Pablo Picasso, Vincent Van Gogh and David Hockney.
Manchester Art Gallery, Mosley Street, Manchester, M2 3JL
First founded in 1823, one of the older galleries featuring in this list is Manchester Art Gallery. If you’re interested in fashion this gallery is most definitely a must-see, as its current Fashion & Freedom and Vogue 100 exhibitions are still ongoing until 27th November and 30th October respectively! Situated right in the city centre, this is definitely a gallery not to be missed out on if you want to add some culture to your shopping trip.
Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art, 13 Thomas Street, Manchester, M4 1EU
It’s widely known that Manchester is home to the second-largest Chinese community in the UK, so the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art offers a glimpse into the rich artistic heritage of China, promoting its various exhibitions on a local, national and international level. This is a big year for CFCCA: not only is it their 30th anniversary, but they have just been awarded funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to further develop their archive and library. Their fusion of local Mancunian and Chinese culture makes for a hugely interesting take on contemporary art styles and is definitely a place to check out.
Nexus Art Café, 2 Dale Street, Northern Quarter, Manchester, M1 1JW
On a slightly different note, situated in Manchester’s creative Northern Quarter is Nexus Art Café, a multi-purpose community-led space which is home to exhibitions, music, group meetings and, of course, food! This is most definitely a place to visit if you’re keen to become practically involved with Manchester’s arts community, or simply somewhere to find out what’s going on in the city and how you can be part of it. You’re always guaranteed a warm welcome, so it’s another great place to stop by after a tiring day’s shopping in the city centre!
So, when you’ve spent all your money on booze, it’s nice to know that Manchester’s art scene doesn’t cost a penny to enjoy.