Manchester Art Exhibitions: A broad canvas for art lovers
by Cass Art
Mention the words “Manchester” and “artists” and many heathens will immediately come back at you with the names the Stone Roses, The Smiths or even George Best.
While these three legends of music and sport undoubtedly possessed their own aesthetic brilliance, Manchester, with its eclectic range of formal art galleries, outside spaces and workshops could quite easily lay claim to being England's second art city.
Arguably leading the way is Manchester Art Gallery, which attracts over 400,000 visitors every year. This world-class Mosley Street public art venue is renowned for its 19th-century British paintings. It is particularly proud of its collection of leading Pre-Raphaelite works and Adolphe Valette's impressionist paintings.
For something a little more underground, Artzu Gallery in Hardman Square, calls itself Manchester's “most progressive independent gallery space”. Its recent Spinningfields relocation is a magnet for art lovers, artists, private collectors and corporate art buyers. Artists include figurative painter Robert Jenkins, Stephen Farley and Andrew Hunt – whose latest exhibition is a must-see.
Awol Studios at Hope Mill's former Pollard Street mill hosts over 120 creative individuals and businesses across 81 studios and disciplines including fine art, ceramics, photography, graphics, fashion, crafts, jewellery and sculpture.
Kraak is a vibrant gallery and event space on Stevenson Place in Manchester's trendy Northern Quarter. This quirky, recently refurbished building hosts a 2,000sq-ft photographic studio and a not-for-profit gallery.