We’re serious in intent, playful in execution

22 01 2014

We're serious in intent, playful in execution

Today Whitworth staff came together from their temporary homes across campus and braved our chilly Gallery building to work on some of the most important areas to tackle over forthcoming months in readiness for the reopening and future operation of the Gallery.

Subjects for consideration ranged from signage and way finding, our engagement strategy, interpretation, commercial opportunities, working with volunteers, and scoping out operational policies and procedures – anything from instructions for the use of a projector in a meeting room to guidance for visitors arriving by coach. It was a chance to leave behind our current work schedules, and for staff to work in cross team groups to think, brainstorm and begin the process of planning.

The day started with Gallery Director, Maria Balshaw reminding everyone of the huge amount of work that has already taken place since the Gallery closed to the public in September, thinking about our vision, values and brand, and ensuring that central to the day’s activities should be the notion of being ‘…serious in intent, playful in execution.’

During the course of the day, we all went out into the Park and looked across at the progress on site, while our Project Manager, gave an update on the building project highlighting the large windows in the Cafe and Landscape Gallery, progress on services and flooring, the complexity of the Plant Room – described as an artwork in its own right – and noting the current bore holes being made for the installation of the ground source heating system.

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It was a great opportunity for everyone to get together and this together with recent visits on site has definitely created a buzz of excitement and enthusiasm from staff, many of whom are now working at a distance from the building site.

One aspect that is now beginning to bubble up alongside plans for our opening exhibition programme, is the development of events and celebrations to mark the reopening of the Whitworth and it’s new connections with Whitworth Park. Be sure that if you joined in with our closing Whitworth Weekending in August last year, events in autumn 2014 will be worth the wait!

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