Huddersfield Art Gallery will temporarily relocate to the Piazza Shopping Centre, while significant building works on the current Huddersfield Library and Art Gallery building are carried out as part of Kirklees Council’s Cultural Heart.
Work will soon commence on transforming the spacious shop unit formerly occupied by USC, into Huddersfield Art Gallery: Unit 7 Huddersfield’s newest and largest gallery space. The move will enable the gallery to continue to deliver its acclaimed and vibrant temporary exhibitions programme, featuring established and emerging artists. Unit 7 will launch on Saturday 6 November with the return of the Contemporary British Painting Prize exhibition 2021.
Huddersfield Art Gallery has hosted the prize since its inception in 2016 and uniquely this major national prize always premieres in Huddersfield before travelling to London. Contemporary British Painting is an artist-led organisation that explores and promotes current trends in British painting through group exhibitions, talks and publications. The aim of their annual prize is to promote the best of contemporary painting produced in the British Isles and this year’s prize exhibition will be the biggest yet. The call for entries closed at the start of September with a record number of 1,067 artists applying, work has begun on shortlisting the entries for the exhibition.
Councillor Will Simpson, Cabinet Member for Culture and Greener Kirklees, said:
“This is an exciting time for Huddersfield Art Gallery and for our cultural ambitions all across Kirklees.
“Huddersfield Art Gallery closed in Closed January 2020 when specialist contractors began working to move the fine art collection into storage in preparation for the Cultural Heart renovations to the building.
“We are delighted that now work can not only begin with the building improvements but Unit 7 will also enable our curators to try different approaches to our fantastic programme of exhibitions and events. Best of all you don’t have to climb up several sets of stairs!”
The renovations to Huddersfield Library and Art Gallery are part of the Huddersfield Blueprint project, which is a 10-year plan to make the town a better place to live, work and visit. Improving Huddersfield’s ‘Cultural Heart’ is a key part of the plan, which includes a focus on improving the vibrant culture and art offering within the town centre.