Photo credit: Jason Pay
On Sunday 16 April 2017, Turner Contemporary celebrates six years of success. 2016/17 has been another extraordinary year with 384,329 visits - the third highest that the gallery has seen in its six year history - taking visit numbers beyond 2.3million.
Turner Contemporary has been the catalyst for the regeneration of Margate. In October 2016 the gallery launched its Social Value Report findings at the House of Commons, revealing quantifiable social impact. Recognized as a national success story, it was recently hailed the “posterchild for arts-led regeneration” by Rt Hon Matthew Hancock MP, Minister of State for Digital and Culture.
Before opening, some believed that Turner Contemporary would never be able to get an original Turner work to Margate. This year, the gallery surpassed all expectations with its blockbuster autumn exhibition, JMW Turner: Adventures in Colour. It brought a rich display of over 100 of JMW Turner’s oil paintings and watercolours to Margate, loaned from public galleries and private lenders across the globe. Accessible to all, with free entry, visitors were able to see JMW Turner’s work on the very site where he made these works.
Six years on, the gallery continues to be adventurous, exploring new ways of working and challenging expectations. This year, Art Inspiring Change, an ambitious learning programme, saw 80 primary school children visit Thanet District Council to secure planning permission for four sites across Margate. On Saturday 8July 2017 the sites will be physically reimagined as these young leaders are empowered to make a positive, tangible impact on their community. Reflecting on their experience, one of the children said; “I think we can do anything now.”
You can see more of their visit to Thanet District Council in the video below.
Truly transformative, Turner Contemporary’s impact has spread with many parts of the town feeling the effect. This year alone, coverage about the gallery has reached 178 million people with an advertising value of almost £5m. Just this month, Margate has been recognized as one of Britain’s Best Seaside Towns by Rough Guides with Turner Contemporary “glinting proudly on the seafront, a beacon for the town’s arty vibe”.
So, come along this weekend, celebrate Turner Contemporary’s sixth birthday and be part of the story. As it opens its doors for the bank holiday weekend, there’ll be special cakes in the café and a workshop which invites you to undertake a spot of time travel through the gallery’s history...
Victoria Pomery OBE, Director of Turner Contemporary says:
“It’s been another phenomenal year for Turner Contemporary. Our artistic and learning programmes continue to challenge and inspire our audiences. Research demonstrates the significant impact that Turner Contemporary has had on building a healthy, cohesive community. We’re looking forward to a successful and vibrant summer.”