This May, Middlesbrough town centre will be host to the Middlesbrough Art Weekender, a three-day art festival. From Friday 19 to Sunday 21 May, Middlesbrough’s Albert Road will come alive with performers, pop-up gallery spaces, exhibitions and workshops.
Organised by artist and curator Paul Stewart, and Stockton-based art project space The Auxiliary, the Weekender is aimed at promoting and showcasing creative practices from the Northeast, and to promote arts activity in the Tees Valley area. This is alongside a range of exhibitions and public programming showcasing international emerging and established artists, including Ben Busch, Wolfgang Bittner, Omsk Social Club ft. PUNK IS DADA, Harold Offeh and Shirin Fahimi (more to be announced).
The weekend will be spread out across over forty locations, including Teesside University, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (mima), Platform Arts and The House of Blah Blah, local businesses and new gallery spaces created from empty retail units. The curatorial framework is to consider the idea of the dispersed gallery into the town of Middlesbrough and the potential of public space as creative space. It is an attempt to highlight Middlesbrough as an important location for artist production and new practices, to consider the creative industry as a way of giving life back to a town that has suffered so greatly since the end of industrial production.
“This a great addition to our town and to the development of Middlesbrough as a cultural Hub” Alistair Hudson
The programme will include 3 project spaces set up for art collectives and studio groups from the North of England to share and promote their practices. Alongside this, the work of over 40 artists living in or from Teesside and the Northeast will be placed throughout the town in different retail and public outlets.
The Weekender will be launched on Friday 19 May at mima 6pm – 10pm, with performances and a drinks reception. This is a free event and all are welcome. The festival as a whole is free and open to the public, with some workshops charging a small fee.