Having had a much needed break over Christmas and the New Year we have now all come back to the last great push to get the Whitworth ready and open for the public on Saturday 14 February. Both of our contractors, ISG and MCC are working hard on the finishing touches and everyday sees another element completed. At the same time, Gallery staff are busy finalising events and activities for the opening and following weeks, ensuring that our shop and cafe will be up and running, talking to the world’s press and launching our opening campaign, and in addition to our exquisite new building making our existing galleries look beautiful too. Some of us are still off-site in temporary office accommodation, while others are camping out within the galleries – yesterday while escaping the noise of floor sanding, I was snapped sitting cross-legged on site!
One of the biggest jobs currently facing us is to install the full programme of opening exhibitions. Works of art are being brought in from off-site stores and lenders, complex structures being built to support new artist installations, individual objects condition checked and finally art being hung on the walls.
There is a great buzz in the Gallery and a huge excitement growing – its great to see art going back on the walls at last. This week, Manchester (and the Whitworth) was 26th in the New York Times list of ‘Places to visit in 2015’ (see: http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/manchester-named-new-york-times-8430806), so if you haven’t already put our reopening date in your diary, then do so now!