NEWS: Middlesbrough Art Weekender @ Various venues | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image from MAW – Richard Forrest, 2017

To the outside world, it’s fair to say that ‘Boro is rarely seen as a cutting-edge hub for the arts – luckily, all that is about to change. From Friday 19th until Sunday 21st of May, naysayers will be made to eat their words with the arrival of Middlesbrough’s very first Art Weekender: a town-wide celebration of both local and international art. Spanning three days and an impressive 40 venues, the festival aims to bring a whirlwind of artistic works to disused shops and spaces along Albert Road, effectively reigniting the heart of the town whilst creating a hugely flexible space for creativity. Existing galleries are set to be participating, too, as head honchos Anna Byrne and Liam Slevin (of Stockton’s non-profit arts space Auxiliary) collaborate with curator Paul Stewart to promote the expansion of arts and culture across Tees Valley.

The festival is set to play host to some pretty big names – among them are Iranian philosopher-come-visual arts extraordinaire Shirin Fahimi, as well as the wondrous ‘Art in Science’ shortlisted Richard Forrest. The programme will also include dozens of local groups and individuals, both old and new, drawn in by the festival’s enticing ‘open call’ to North-East based collectives. Plus, there’s plenty of opportunities to get your hands dirty with workshops throughout the weekend.

So, if you’ve ever found yourself wondering, “What do people DO in Middlesbrough?” (not that we’re suggesting you would ever think such a thing), or just have a love of great contemporary art, then this is almost definitely the festival for you.

The Middlesbrough Art Weekender takes place from From Friday 19th until Sunday 21st of May.

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