Whitworth Friends support our building project

6 03 2014

Whitworth Friends support our building project 2

Last weekend, one of the Friends of the Whitworth generously opened their home as a Pop-up Gallery selling works by local artists, as well as famous names such as Terry Frost and Eric Gill, all in support of the Gallery in the Park building project. This is the latest venture amongst many creative events the Friends have organised towards the funding of the Gallery development, including £100,000 towards preparatory costs including the architectural competition in 2009, and a further £155,000 to date. The FoW are particularly interested in funding the fit out of the Collections Access Area, and a number of Friends have volunteered and are currently undergoing extensive training to become Volunteer Collection Access Assistants to help increase public access to the Whitworth’s Collections (see previous blog post: https://capitaldevelopmentwhitworth.wordpress.com/2013/09/21/art-auction-raises-money-for-our-new-collections-access-facilities/).

Artist Mim with a purchase at Susan Brown's Pop-Up Gallery, Wilmslow

Artist Mim with a purchase at Susan Brown’s Pop-Up Gallery, Wilmslow

FoW Susan Brown (centre) with artist Alison Murdoch, and Whitworth Director Maria Balshaw

FoW Susan Brown (centre) with artist Alison Murdoch, and Whitworth Director Maria Balshaw

The Friends organisation has been flourishing for 80 years – set up originally to support a purchasing fund for the Gallery so that the collection could be enlarged and refreshed, and since then has contributed to the purchase of over 1,000 works of art. Friends enjoy a varied and exciting programme of activities including exhibition openings, lectures (including the annual Pilkington Lecture), concerts and exhibition-related films in the Gallery, plus tours to other collections, galleries and private houses both in the UK and abroad. This week saw the third in a series of ‘Gallery in the Park’ talks alongside a site tour and walk in our adjacent green space, lead by Ken Shone, Chair of the Friends of Whitworth Park.

The Friends of the Whitworth’s vision is to be recognised as one of the best Friends’ organisations in the UK, friendly and open to all who want to share their curiosity about, and enthusiasm for, art at the Whitworth – with, as they say ‘something for everyone’. Members receive a regular glossy newsletter keeping them in touch with the Gallery and the Friends….so if you are looking to actively support the Gallery’s re-opening and be part of all the opportunities the Friends and the new Whitworth has to offer, join them at http://www.friendsofthewhitworth.org.uk

Use this contact above if you would like to purchase a work and find out more about the Pop-up Gallery or alternatively join in with the Friends Fundraising Auction where there are more amazing works of art to buy at: http://artauction.manchesterdda.net

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Art Auction raises money for our new Collections Access facilities

21 09 2013

Collection access areaIt was a bit of an ‘edge of the seat’ moment at midnight on Friday 20 September for anyone bidding in the Friends of the Whitworth’s exciting online Art Auction.  Although the bidding had been open for some weeks, as is the way with these things, it all ‘hotted up’ during the last hours of Friday evening. The auction raised an amazing £5,000 which will be used towards the design and purchase of bespoke furniture and fittings for the Collections Access Area.

This new facility should become a first point of call for visitors entering the new Gallery building from Whitworth Park and will offer a half-way house between an exhibition and our Study Centre.  The Collections Access Area will show rapidly changing displays from the Gallery’s internationally renowned collections of fine art, textiles and wallpapers and provide opportunities for working alongside a range of collaborators from University academics to local community groups.  Objects will be displayed in a range of wall cases, browser drawers and glass topped tables and there will be access to books and computers in a relaxed and informal setting.  Groups will be able to book sessions in the spaces with members of staff and at other times, the space will be open for all our visitors with further interpretation offered by a skilled group of volunteers (if you would like to join this group please contact the Friends of the Whitworth at: http://www.friendsofthewhitworth.org.uk/contact.html or our Volunteer Coordinator at: kate.glynn@manchester.ac.uk).

In the meantime, the fundraising continues and if you missed out on the wonderful original artworks so kindly donated by artist friends and associates of the Gallery, then there will be another chance to bid for works by Richard Wentworth, Maxine Bristow, Alice Kettle and others in the run up to Christmas – so get saving and watch this space!





A great piece of Graffiti

29 08 2013

A great piece of Graffiti

I’ve mostly been on leave this week, but was at the Gallery today to attend our monthly site progress meeting, and also to give presentations to two groups from the Friends of the Whitworth who have also been on hard hat tours of the site. Our Friends group are working hard to raise a substantial amount of money towards the project fund, specifically towards the fit-out of the Collections Access Area; if you haven’t already seen details of their exciting fundraising Art Auction, then go to: http://artauction.manchesterdda.net/ and get bidding!

Lots of work continues on site and I could tell you today about brick samples and the time and effort going into getting these just right before full brick walls are created, or that window frames are being installed within concrete apertures (I’ll save these for another time!) – but instead I thought I’d share this great piece of graffiti that has recently appeared on the hoardings surrounding the ISG construction site – it speaks for itself.

If you haven’t checked out the Whitworth’s 2013 summer season, then you only have a very short time to do so as the Gallery closes to the public on Sunday 1 September. We celebrate the end of one era and raise a toast to an amazing future with three days of festivities in Whitworth Park – see the full programme of activities at: http://www.whitworth.manchester.ac.uk/whatson/exhibitions/weekending/