Leigh’s The Turnpike Gallery is set to reopen its doors to the public next month with a stunning artwork display to celebrate its 50 year anniversary.

The popular arts and culture hub – now under the management of Wigan Council – will start its new era on Saturday, April 2.

It will reopen with the Drawn In exhibition that will feature local, regional and nationally renowned artists many of whom had their first major exhibition at the gallery.

Councillor Chris Ready, portfolio holder for culture and communities at Wigan Council, said: “The Turnpike Gallery is one of Wigan Borough’s most-popular arts and culture hubs so we are really looking forward to re-opening the doors to the public again.

“It is notable that as the gallery enters this new era, it is also celebrating a milestone anniversary. The exhibition we have planned to mark the occasion will be a brilliant showcase of our local artists as well as artists from around the country who are eager to put their work on display in our borough.”

The work of Henry Moore, who was the first artist to have his work shown at the gallery in 1971, will be returning to the gallery as part of the exhibition along with paintings by L S Lowry, whose work was exhibited at The Turnpike in 1972.

Since it opened 50 years ago, the gallery has hosted a diverse mix of artists in solo and group exhibitions of painting, sculpture and printmaking, along with textiles, ceramics, photography, video installations, interactive light shows, digital craft, and more.

Over the previous five years, under the leadership of The Turnpike CIC, the gallery presented international artists through partnerships with high profile galleries and organisations and also initiated projects with a local focus, nurturing young creatives to make and present new work to a wide range of people.

The Drawn In exhibition will run from April 2 until Saturday, June 11 and celebrates five decades of the visual arts while also pointing towards many years to come of art and culture in Wigan Borough.

Coun Ready added: “The reopening of The Turnpike will be a major date for the calendars of all our residents and it marks the start of an exciting year for our cultural sector which is also set for a major programme of events associated with the arrival of the UEFA Women’s Euros to the borough this summer.”

The Turnpike Gallery, on Civic Square in Leigh town centre, will be open Tuesday to Saturday between 10am and 4pm. Entry to the exhibition is free.


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