Looking forward to the next 50 years

On 29th April 1972, at the end of a week in which Apollo 16 had landed on the Moon, Orleans House Gallery was opened to the public. 

The first exhibition was of paintings from the Borough collection but the gallery was quick to focus on living artists. It soon became a hub for Richmond’s creative community and a place where local people would come to enjoy contemporary art in all its forms. 

With the support of Richmond upon Thames Borough council the Gallery has opened every week for 50 years, only closing with Lockdown in 2020. It has welcomed thousands of artists and millions of visitors to its exhibitions and outdoor spaces. The Gallery has often led thinking in participatory arts and always encouraged people to have a go for themselves. It stands for the idea that everyone can be an artist and aims to build community through creativity.  

One of the exciting things about a public art gallery is that once opened it takes on a life of its own. Like a garden or woodland it’s a dynamic thing. So OHG continues to reflect the lives and concerns of the people of Richmond. Art Unlocked, the first exhibition following Lockdown’s end in summer 2020, demonstrated how the Gallery helped a community share the ideas and values it holds dear.  

Over the next 50 years the Gallery will remain true to its foundation as a centre for the arts. It will show work by exciting new artists. With its community it will explore contemporary ideas, embracing new technologies and changing art practice. Above all it will be a place of fun and friendship. 

This summer we look forward to welcoming you to the final days of Tower Avenue, a stunning photography exhibition by disabled artist Dexter McLean. This will be followed by a chance for families of all shapes and sizes to explore and create their own playground in Mirror Shape Play. Touch and feel, look and play, build and hide. Mirror Shape Play is an interactive exhibition that will change the way you see the world around you.

For more information head to Orleans House Gallery website and sign up to our mailing list. http://www.orleanshousegallery.org

Tim Corum Arts
Service Manager 

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