It has only been open a little over two years, but already the Turner Contemporary art gallery in Margate is preparing to welcome its one-millionth visitor through its doors.
This dynamic visual arts centre, in Kent’s historic seaside town, has flourished since opening in April 2011. Back then, it had an annual visitor forecast of just 150,000.
Today (Thursday August 29th) is the day the space is preparing to say hello to its one-millionth visitor – who will receive a nice (and unexpected) bottle of bubbly.
The idea that art is for everyone – accessible, relevant and fulfilling – is central to Turner Contemporary’s ethos.
Free admission, a range of diverse exhibitions, workshops and events, an open, community-focused website – it’s no wonder this brilliant space is drawing in visitors in their droves.
To celebrate its one-millionth visitor, Turner Contemporary’s launched the I Am One In A Million Campaign, centred on visitors sharing personal experiences of the gallery. Head to their website and take a look at the images and messages.
Gallery deputy director Richard Morsley said: “We are one of the most visited galleries and museums in the country outside of London.
“So far from our visitors we have generated £1 million into the local economy. We support 130 jobs, both directly and indirectly and we have engaged over 40,000 people through our schools and families programme who otherwise may not have come to Margate.
“Most tellingly, of those visitors today, 28,000 people had never been to a gallery or museum before.”
The gallery was opened by contemporary artist Tracey Emin, who grew up in Margate, and the musician Jools Holland, whose grandmother lived in the town. JMW Turner first visited Margate aged 11 and regularly sketched there aged 21.
Here’s to the two-millionth visitor!
If you’re thinking of heading on over to Margate anytime in the near future, here’s our pick of the gallery’s current exhibitions:
Curiosity: Art and the Pleasures of Knowing (Until September 15th)
This celebration of the spectacular and bizarre is a blend of historical periods and styles and forms, from the Horniman Museum walrus to intricate pen-and-ink studies by Leonardo da Vinci.
Dan Graham: Two Cubes, One Rotated 45° (Until November 17th)
Head to Turner Contemporary’s South Terrace to see US artist Dan Graham’s impressive Two Cubes, One Rotated 45°, an exterior pavilion designed to be walked through and around.
Sol LeWitt (Coming – December 3rd 2013 – June 8th 2014)
Conceptual artist Sol LeWitt, who produced more than 1,200 wall drawings, is a celebrated pioneer of minimalism. His Wall Drawing #1136 will be on display at Turner’s Clore Learning Study later this year.