There's no shortage of fantastic places to tour when you visit Manchester UK and the city is rich in performance venues, museums, and galleries galore. Unofficially known as "The Capital of the North", the Greater Manchester area is home to Manchester Airport, the largest air service facility in the UK outside the capital of London, and the metropolis attracts the second highest rate of foreign visitors in the entire country. A thriving sports fan base and multitudes of chic shopping opportunities supplement the cultural and artistic appeal of Manchester and the downtown area is host to some of England's most lively and notable nightlife. A visit to the sensational city of Manchester, England will certainly afford you loads of things to see and do and exciting new experiences are always developing around town.
A New and Improved Stage for Manchester's Marvelous Art Scene
Tourists can find countless museums and art galleries among the most popular curiosities in Manchester but not all attractions are created equal; The Whitworth Art Gallery promises a distinctively remarkable experience for visitors with the introduction of brand new exhibits, state-of-the-art facilities, and vastly expanded public spaces premiering in February 2015. The venue, which was originally founded in 1889 as the first English gallery in a park, has displayed countless historical artworks over the past 125 years in a magnificent setting against a verdant backdrop of meticulously maintained gardens and greens. After receiving a generous grant to remodel in 2011, The Whitworth began renovating its facilities with an ambitious plan that would double the amount of public space, expand current gallery areas, and add three new additions to the compound; a learning studio, study center, and collections center. The grand reopening of The Whitworth is set for February 14, 2015 when the institution's gallery and facilities will once again be available for the eagerly awaiting public to explore.
Up and Coming at The Whitworth
In addition to The Whitworth's more than 55,000 internationally renowned historical and contemporary works, an exciting array of new exhibits will be on display amongst the revived facilities in February. A solo exhibition from one of Britain's most acclaimed contemporary artists, Cornelia Parker, will be at the forefront featuring a wide array of works spanning her entire career including an exciting recent collaboration with scientists at The University of Manchester. Nobel Prize winners Kostya Novoselov and Andre Geim worked with Parker to turn microscopic samples of graphite drawings by famous artists such as Picasso into a special sensor activated by breath, which will set off a firework meteor shower in Whitworth Park on the opening night of the exhibit. The entire collection will make up Cornelia Parker's most extensive exhibition to date and is projected to draw an impressive number of viewers.
Creating an Enchanting Place Where Nature and Art Coexist
Alongside Parker's works visitors will be invited to marvel at a wide variety of other fascinating exhibits and displays while they peruse the new facilities and reinvented park space. Unmanned Nature, a spectacular 45 meter long installation created entirely using burning gunpowder by Chinese-born artist Cai Guo-Qiang, has been highlighted among dozens of other historic and contemporary drawings, watercolors, photographs, textiles, and wallpapers. The already gorgeous Whitworth Park will also host a new Art Garden and Orchard Garden designed by Sarah Price, who co-designed the 2012 Olympic Park gardens in London. Carefully trimmed hedges, grasses, plants, and flowers will create a unique outdoor venue for displaying art, specifically a collection of 90 new outdoor sculptures donated to The Whitworth by the Karpidas Foundation. A new café with floor to ceiling windows that overlook the park has also been constructed to complement the extensive efforts to integrate artworks both inside and outside the gallery building and Director of The Whitworth, Dr. Maria Balshaw, has been quoted saying, "Visitors will want to experience the way we have brought art, nature and people together through a program of year-round, outdoor activities - for adults and families, and for health and wellbeing."
Vacations are never long enough and when visiting the city of Manchester, UK you'll certainly have your work cut out for you in deciding which of the many cultural venues you'll choose to visit. While the rest of your itinerary may remain open-ended, though, The Whitworth Park and Art Gallery is one attraction that simply cannot be missed!
Photo Courtesy of The Whitworth Gallery