The Holden Gallery
Manchester School of Art, Manchester Metropolitan University, Cavendish Street
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With a distinguished history dating back over 100 years, the Holden Gallery continues to engage with developments in contemporary art through an ongoing programme of exhibitions that are open to the public, free of charge.
The gallery focuses on international contemporary art, exploring themes and ideas through the work of established and mid-career artists. It is also a major exhibitor of staff and student work at Manchester Metropolitan University, hosting the yearly BA and MA Degree Shows and championing the art of up-and-coming creatives.
The gallery usually presents four shows per year, ranging from painting and photography to large-scale installations and live performance art. It also has a rich collection of work previously displayed in the gallery and stored within the university’s archives, all of which is available to view by appointment.
The Holden Gallery is found within the distinguished Grosvenor Building on Cavendish Street. This Gothic-style building, with its sweeping slate roofs and glass skylights, provides a striking setting for the gallery’s exhibitions and events.
The building itself is architecturally significant, retaining many of its original features. Its rich history includes a highly-influential William Morris exhibition in 1908 and the third Pan-African Congress in 1945. In the early 1900s, a young L.S. Lowry studied evening classes at the School of Art under Adolphe Valette.
Lothar Götz’s 2021 exhibition, Pool, saw the gallery filled with an immersive site-specific wall painting that flooded the usually pristine white space with bright colours, using the walls of the building themselves as a canvas.
Alongside a diverse programme of exhibitions, live art and performances, the Holden Gallery hosts a range of events and activities such as film screenings and panel discussions.