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Set in a beautiful Edwardian building, Grundy Art Gallery is a free contemporary art space in the heart of Blackpool town centre. Exhibitions change every 2-3 months, and are complemented by a diverse programme of talks, events and workshops.

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New Light Programme at the Grundy thanks to a Prestigious Award

Blackpool Council’s Grundy Art Gallery has been awarded £80,000 by the Art Fund to buy new artworks around the theme of light.

Grundy Art Gallery Blackpool

The Award is part of the Art Fund’s £400,000 ‘New Collecting Awards’ programme which this year saw six awards given to museums around the British Isles.

The £80,000 award to Grundy Curator Richard Parry was the joint highest sum, with the same amount going to curators at the Royal Pavilion in Brighton and at the National Galleries of Scotland in Edinburgh.

The idea of the awards is to invest in the development of promising curators at early points in their careers across the UK. Through the scheme, museum professionals are each given a budget to pursue a completely new avenue of collecting in their institutions.

Exhibition at Grundy Art Gallery

Five out of six of the awards were presented to support contemporary art collecting. The scheme not only benefits the museums’ collections, but helps the curators to learn at first-hand about the process of making great acquisitions, and contribute significantly to their professional development.

The award follows in the wake of the success of ‘Sensory Systems’, the widely praised exhibition which saw international artists display spectacular works exploring the connection between light and sensory perception this autumn, to coincide with the Illuminations.

The award is a significant boost for the gallery, which has seen a doubling of audiences through the light strand of its programming and follows a further award from the John Ellerman Foundation, supporting new work with the collection, which has enabled important behind-the-scenes improvements including the employment of a new Collections Manager.

Curator Richard Parry said: “For 2016 we are having a year-round focus on our collections, starting with our current Ben Cain exhibition which is inspired by paintings from the collection, and going right through into at least 2017. This award couldn’t come at a better time and means that for the first time since before the War the gallery has a substantial amount to buy new artworks, allowing us to develop our new strand of work around light.”

“Blackpool is in many ways the ‘home’ of light in the UK because of the Illuminations, and this is a huge endorsement of the cultural significance of light in the town. Nowhere in the country currently focusses on light in this way and we’ve seen a fantastic response to the exhibition Sensory Systems which has shown there is an appetite for international artwork of this kind here.

“Although light is only one part of the gallery’s work, there is an ambition to make the Grundy nationally recognised for it, and that’s starting to happen already through this award.”

Cllr Vikki Singleton, Lead for Arts at Blackpool Council added: “In this day and age, we need to continually push forward the gallery, to make it remain fresh and new for everybody who chooses to visit.

“We’ve managed to do that by commissioning new exhibitions and, especially this year, getting artists to reimagine our current collection. Being able to add further to that collection will be a big boost and I’m really looking forward to some of the exciting new pieces that we’ll be able to explore.”

Stephen Deuchar, director of the Art Fund, said: “Following on from the unprecedented success of the first round, we were able to unlock a further £100,000 of funding for the scheme’s second round. This means we are able to support even more generously some of the UK’s brightest early-career curators. I look forward to seeing how these six innovative and pioneering projects unfold, further confirming the importance of developing and supporting curatorship.”

The full list of awards are to Julie-Ann Delaney, Curator at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (SNGMA), Edinburgh; Jenny Lund, Curator of Fine Art at Royal Pavilion & Museums (RPM), Brighton & Hove; Rebecca Newell, Curator at the National Army Museum, London; Mark Elliott, Curator for Anthropology at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (MAA), Cambridge and Thomas Hockenhull, Curator: Modern Money, Department of Coins and Medals at the British Museum, London.

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More about Grundy Art Gallery

Grundy Art Gallery is Blackpool’s art gallery and offers a year round programme of contemporary and visual art exhibitions and events including solo and group exhibitions together with talks, workshops and educational activities.

The gallery is housed in a Grade II listed Carnegie building and houses a collection that was created in 1908, following a bequest by brothers John and Cuthbert Grundy. Today the collection includes works by Ruth Claxton, Martin Creed, Laura Ford, Gilbert and George, Brian Griffiths, Augustus John, Haroon Mirza and Eric Ravilious.

The Grundy Art Gallery was founded in 1911 by the brothers John and Cuthbert Grundy, and has been at the centre of cultural and artistic life in the town for over 100 years. It began with the ambition to show the best art of the day to the people of Blackpool, and this sentiment remains at the heart of what we do today as a leading contemporary art gallery in the North West.

The Grundy aims to inspire audiences through an ambitious and varied year-round exhibitions programme that draws on the unique and invigorating context and heritage of Blackpool, for instance exploring the space between contemporary art, entertainment and popular culture.

Recent exhibitions have featured works by celebrated and critically acclaimed artists including Martin Creed, Brian Griffiths, David Hockney, Pierre Huyghe, Heather Phillipson, Susan Philipsz and Matt Stokes. The gallery has a growing national and international profile and has recently worked with key partners such as LeftCoast in Blackpool, and other institutions such as BALTIC, the British Council and the Hayward Gallery.

The Grundy provides a key space for residents and visitors in which new ideas and ways of imagining the world can be tested and explored, and where resonant encounters can occur between art and audiences. We undertake special programmes tailored for individuals and groups including schoolchildren, young people, families and senior citizens, enabling people of all ages the chance to engage with and discover for themselves the art on display and the imaginations behind them.

Our exhibitions and displays frequently incorporate pieces from our collection, which was started with a bequest by the founding brothers and contains an eclectic range of art and other items from furniture to ceramics, to netsuke ornaments to Victorian oil paintings. Artists include Craigie Aitchison, Ruth Claxton, Martin Creed, Laura Ford, Augustus John, Eric Ravilious and Gilbert and George amongst others.

Grundy is part of Blackpool Council's Arts Service, which develops and delivers arts projects which engage Blackpool's residents, communities and visitors in the arts, supports the town's arts community, placing the arts the core of Blackpool's unique and important cultural environment.

The gallery is an Accredited Museum and also receives funding from Arts Council England as a National Portfolio Organisation and from the John Ellerman Foundation.



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Grundy Art Gallery

Queen Street
Blackpool
Lancashire
FY1 1PU


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Neon's a hit as latest Grundy exhibit tops 12,000 visits

The Grundy Art Gallery has had one of its most successful exhibitions to date with NEON: The Charged Line.

Neon the Charged Line - exhibition at Grundy Art Gallery

The exhibition, which featured artwork from worldwide acclaimed artists such as Tracey Emin, Joseph Kosuth and Francois Morellet, formed an integral part of last year’s LightPool festival and is estimated to have attracted around 12,000 visitors in to the gallery over the course of its 18 week run.

NEON: The Charged Line ran from 1 September 2016 up until 7 January this year, enticing visitors from across the UK with its celebration of 38 neon artworks from around the world hosted inside the Edwardian gallery.

Artists included Joseph Kosuth, Tracey Emin and Francois Morellet, who was a significant early practitioner from Paris, experimenting with neon since the 1960s but who passed away earlier in 2016. Morellet’s work has not been widely exhibited in the UK and the exhibition in Blackpool afforded a rare opportunity to experience some of his most celebrated works.

The Grundy also commissioned several outdoor works from artists including Tim Etchells and Paulina Olowska which brought the exhibition out onto the streets of Blackpool. Alongside the main exhibition, the gallery also staged an exhibition in its Rotunda of drawings from the Blackpool Illuminations Archive. These beautiful Art Deco designs dated back to the early 1930s and to a time when Blackpool was just starting to establish its pioneering name within the history of light and neon. NEON was a key part of ‘LightPool’, which also included projections on the tower and the ‘LightPool Festival’ in October.

Cllr Luke Taylor, Lead Member for Arts on Blackpool Council, said: “I am absolutely delighted with the success of NEON: The Charged Line. Not only is it one of the Grundy’s most successful exhibitions ever, it has also received excellent feedback from the people who came from across the country into the gallery to take a look at the fantastic exhibits on display from top artists.

“The way that the exhibition tied in with Blackpool’s history of neon light use and the LightPool project as a whole really caught the public’s imagination and introduced them to a new form of light being used as art. As well as our large visitor numbers, we also welcomed schools and youth groups in to the gallery, something I hope will encourage more young people to become engaged in the arts as they grow up.”

The exhibition was funded by money from a Coastal Communities Fund grant awarded to Blackpool towards the Illuminations.

Coastal Communities Minister Andrew Percy said: “Thanks to £2 million from our Coastal Communities Fund, the festival was one of the star attractions of Blackpool’s growing tourism economy. The LightPool Festival was a fantastic way to celebrate our Great British Coast and I’d urge more people to visit Blackpool to see all it has to offer.”

As well as tourists and residents visiting, the gallery also saw visits by upwards of 800 young people from school and youth groups. The exhibition was the second exhibition of light-based art, forming part of the Grundy’s ongoing Light Programme exhibiting international light works and build on Blackpool’s tradition and relationship with light and its world-famous Illuminations.

The Grundy launched its Light programme with 2015’s exhibition Sensory Systems which featured artists such as Angela Bulloch, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer and Anthony McCall. Sensory Systems attracted 7,000 visitors, with the neon exhibition almost doubling this figure.

The exhibition attracted international press and was featured in the Telegraph, the Guardian and on the BBC website. Curator Richard Parry spoke about the exhibition on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row and the exhibition was also featured in popular magazines and online formats including Wallpaper, World of Interiors and After Nyne. Press coverage for the exhibition across local, national and international channels is estimated received more than 10million hits. One Blackpool resident described to gallery staff how her cousin in Italy had found out about the exhibition, and audience research shows how people travelled from across the UK to see the exhibition, including as far away as Cornwall, Devon, London and Nottingham.

For over 100 years, the Grundy has played a vital and unique role in Blackpool’s arts, heritage and tourism offer and is the only municipal art gallery until Preston.

Research shows that many visits to the gallery are made by individuals who come specifically to Blackpool to visit or participate in the gallery’s exhibition programme and events. The gallery also encourages visitors to the town outside of the traditional tourist season and, during the season, invites people to venture beyond the usual beach and seaside amusements and explore further into the town.

After a four month run, NEON: The Charged Line is now closed and the galleries will re-open on 28 January with the Blackpool Art Fayre which includes an exhibition of new and recent acquisitions from the Grundy Collection and an open submission for residents of the Blackpool and Fylde coast.

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Grundy Art Gallery opens doors to residents in new open submission show

Opened 28 January - runs until 18 March

2017 began with the gallery lifting the lid on artistic production in Blackpool and along the Fylde Coast as The Grundy Art Gallery calls on residents from across Blackpool and the Fylde Coast to enter into its open submission exhibition.

Grundy local artists open submission exhibition

Blackpool-based arts organisations Abingdon Studios and the Blackpool Art Society will stage exhibitions at the Gallery alongside the wider open call exhibition of work from Blackpool residents.

Blackpool Art Fayre at Grundy Art Gallery

In another room, Blackpool schoolchildren will showcase their own drawings inspired by early designs for neon illuminations.

The gallery will also be showing old favourites from the Grundy collection together with new and recent acquisitions. The poster is designed by Blackpool artist Carlito Juanito.

Grundy Art Gallery open submission show

Alongside the open exhibition the gallery will be spotlighting the work of two Blackpool-based arts organisations: the Blackpool Art Society and the recently formed Abingdon Studios. This showcasing follows similar exhibitions such as ‘Rock & Pop: New prints from the Rock Factory’, held at the gallery in 2015, and offers further opportunities for locally-based artists to develop and display work. 

The exhibition includes work from Fylde residents with an FY postcode, with a submission limit of only one artwork per artist so that as many people as possible can be included.

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Key Emin artwork to form part of Grundy’s permanent collection

A key exhibit in one of Blackpool’s most successful art exhibitions in recent years has now been acquired as part of the Grundy Art Gallery’s permanent collection.

I Know I Know by Tracey Emin

‘I Know I Know I Know’ by Tracey Emin was displayed as part of the recent NEON: The Charged Line exhibition which ran from September last year until January.

The acquisition is the first made by the gallery using funding from the Art Fund’s New Collecting Award, their scheme that enables curators to pursue new avenues of collecting for their museums.  They granted curator Richard Parry £80,000 to purchase key artworks relating to light.

The work was recently displayed at the gallery in NEON: The Charged Line, a major success with both audiences and critics which traced how artists have worked with neon since the 1960s. The exhibition saw Emin alongside other stars including Joseph Kosuth, Fiona Banner, François Morellet and Keith Sonnier and coincided with Blackpool’s famous Illuminations’ LightPool project.

Emin, who is well known for her work with fabric, embroidery and installations including the notorious ‘My Bed’ which was displayed as part of the Turner Prize in 1999, has also established a reputation for her evocative and emotionally charged work in neon. The artwork the Grundy has purchased, titled ‘I Know I Know I Know’, is from 2002 and is one of the earliest works in neon undertaken by the celebrated artist of the so-called “young British artist” generation.

Cllr Luke Taylor, Lead Member for Arts at Blackpool Council, said: “The funding from the New Collecting Award was designed to help galleries purchase culturally important pieces of work and we are delighted that the Grundy has been able to gather the support to acquire this fantastic artwork.

“The piece was a huge draw for the thousands of visitors who came to NEON: The Charged Line and incorporating it as part of our permanent collection means we can use it in future exhibitions for many generations to enjoy.”

Curator Richard Parry added: “This is an especially exciting purchase for the gallery marking the beginning of our new collecting strand around light. Tracey Emin works with neon in a particularly powerful way, hand drawn messages writ large that are both intimate and affecting.

“As someone who grew up in Margate and who has family connections in Blackpool, Tracey is someone who has an intimate understanding of what it means to live in a seaside town and I believe her work speaks particularly to audiences here. I don’t think there could be a more fitting starting point on which to build the new light collection.”

The acquisition marks the first purchase made possible through a New Collecting Award from Art Fund, and also sees additional support from the John Ellerman Foundation.

Stephen Deuchar, Art Fund director, said: “We launched the New Collecting Awards to support emerging curators in times of great financial pressure.  We liked Richard Parry's bid to start a new collection of light in Blackpool, the home of Illuminations, and applaud this impressive acquisition, which is an ideal addition to Blackpool's public collection. We look forward to seeing what he acquires next."

Over the past decade the Grundy has established a reputation as one of the North’s leading centres for contemporary visual art, undertaking ambitious exhibitions which explore the relationship between art and popular culture.

Through the light programme and the expansion of the light collection, the Grundy is looking to become a national centre for artists working in the medium, alongside its wider programme.

Emin’s work will be shown alongside other recently acquired artworks as part of the Blackpool Art Fayre, which opened will run until 17 March.

The exhibition also includes works by internationally renowned artist Yinka Shonibare MBE and 2017 Fourth Plinth Nominee Heather Phillipson, as well as emerging and more established artists from across the North West and the wider UK.

All the works have been purchased with the assistance of external grants, awards and support. 

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A Memorable 2016

2016 has been a memorable year for the Grundy Art Gallery. We have seen:

- The collection hung and re-imagined by locally-based artists and makers
- An exhibition of collection paintings which also showed how we care for and restore the artworks
- Two exhibitions by Blackpool artists: Noel Clueit and Civic Photography
- Over 10,000 visits to the exhibition ‘NEON: The Charged Line’
- Over 1,200 schoolchildren who have been inspired to learn about literacy, numeracy, history and science through workshops engaging with our exhibitions across the year
- An major new exhibition by Turner Prize-winner Mark Leckey on the theme of Felix the Cat, prior to his other solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York
- Upwards of 40 volunteers who have worked with us to stage our exhibitions and help document the collection for a new database
- Significant national and international coverage including in The Telegraph, The Guardian, BBC, as well as popular magazines such as Wallpaper and After Nyne, alongside strong local and regional news and magazine features
- A major partnership with Visit Blackpool, the Illuminations and LeftCoast to creatively deliver LightPool and the LightPool Festival and transform the town centre

Thank you to everyone who has supported the gallery in the past 12 months and helped us to make these things happen.

 

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Image of the day from our Schools Exhibition - part of Blackpool Art Fayre. This drawing from Callum at Great Arley School #illuminations https://t.co/nbq6uAO5N3

 

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Tomorrow 27 Feb (5.30pm. FREE) - Grundy Film Club with @ICALondon - Basim Magdy w/ into by @Unravelfilm https://t.co/Bqi2nLqQIg https://t.co/yE2WwZ29g6

 

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Check out the recent @Artforum article from @MartinLHerbert on the art of Heather Phillipson @h_phillipson https://t.co/13JHGzyLRr https://t.co/d6SSFIOmWG

 

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25th February 2017
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In Eastbourne tomorrow? This looks good @TownerGallery - Philip Ball: Art & Light. Exploring possibilities of light as an artistic medium https://t.co/TQ9JqPTmwf

 

Get the whole picture - and other photos from Grundy Art Gallery

 

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25th February 2017
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Image of the day from our Schools Exhibition - part of Blackpool Art Fayre. This drawing from Callum at Holy Family Primary #illuminations https://t.co/TdK6mbHnvu

 

Get the whole picture - and other photos from Grundy Art Gallery

 

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24th February 2017
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Tonight! (6pm) - Check out the work of 12 emerging artists invited to Blackpool by @abingdonstudios for a w/e exploring popular culture. https://t.co/j4okcrtdYl

 

Get the whole picture - and other photos from Grundy Art Gallery

 

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Image of the day from our Schools Exhibition - part of Blackpool Art Fayre. This drawing from Jack. at Great Arley School. #NEON https://t.co/1igm46pVrd

 

Get the whole picture - and other photos from Grundy Art Gallery

 

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24th February 2017
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FILM CLUB:BASIM MAGDY this Mon 27 Feb (5.30pm. FREE) w/ intro by @Unravelfilm Part of #ArtandScreen @ICALondon https://t.co/Bqi2nL9fQI

 

FILM CLUB From February- March the Grundy will be hosting regular fortnightly screenings of films made by leading artists. The Grundy has teamed up with the ICA in London as part of a national network to introduce audiences to artists’ film. Each screening will start at 5.30pm with an introduction b...

 

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Sat 11 Mar join artist/scientist Adrian Pritchard @BADEPTart and make these Drawbots for @ScienceWeekUK ! Workshops both am/pm. #Science#ART https://t.co/sp64m6gEp0

 

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They came,they drew,they conquered (fear of drawing)!Great to see @FamiliesBlackpl at our event with @dempo34! #Families #Creative #Fun😀✏️🎨 https://t.co/n0AVNiJ2Yh

 

“We joined in with the Big Draw! Look forward to the next event. #art #familyfun https://t.co/w1JfHt5mvM @GrundyBlackpool @BpoolLibraries”

 

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26th February 2017
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Image of the day from our Schools Exhibition - part of Blackpool Art Fayre. This drawing from Callum at Great Arley… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…

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26th February 2017
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Tomorrow 27 Feb (5.30pm. FREE) - Grundy Film Club with @ICALondon - Basim Magdy w/ into by @Unravelfilmtwitter.com/i/web/status/8…

Grundy Art Gallery
26th February 2017
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Check out the recent @Artforum article from @MartinLHerbert on the art of Heather Phillipson @h_phillipsontwitter.com/i/web/status/8…

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25th February 2017
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In Eastbourne tomorrow? This looks good @TownerGallery - Philip Ball: Art & Light. Exploring possibilities of ligh… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…

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25th February 2017
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Image of the day from our Schools Exhibition - part of Blackpool Art Fayre. This drawing from Callum at Holy Family… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…

Grundy Art Gallery
24th February 2017
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Tonight! (6pm) - Check out the work of 12 emerging artists invited to Blackpool by @abingdonstudios for a w/e explo… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…

Grundy Art Gallery
24th February 2017
Grundy Art Gallery GrundyBlackpool

 

Image of the day from our Schools Exhibition - part of Blackpool Art Fayre. This drawing from Jack. at Great Arley… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…

Grundy Art Gallery
24th February 2017
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FILM CLUB:BASIM MAGDY this Mon 27 Feb (5.30pm. FREE) w/ intro by @Unravelfilm Part of #ArtandScreen @ICALondon eventbrite.co.uk/e/film-club-ba…

Grundy Art Gallery
23rd February 2017
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Sat 11 Mar join artist/scientist Adrian Pritchard @BADEPTart and make these Drawbots for @ScienceWeekUK ! Workshops… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…

Grundy Art Gallery
23rd February 2017
Grundy Art Gallery GrundyBlackpool

 

They came,they drew,they conquered (fear of drawing)!Great to see @FamiliesBlackpl at our event with @dempo34!… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…

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