Turner Prize Baltic Centre Emulate Tate With New Gallery

Turner Prize 2011 hosts, The Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead, is set to open a second branch in neighbouring Newcastle – BALTIC 39

The Baltic in Gateshead had more than 500,000 visitors last year when it hosted the Turner Prize; and now it’s making a bid for Tate-style world domination with the opening of an off-shoot gallery in neighbouring Newcastle, which will be called ‘BALTIC 39’.

In a statement released by the gallery, BALTIC 39 is described as ‘a new cultural hub for contemporary art located on High Bridge in the heart of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, will open to the public on Friday 6 April 2012’.

The name comes from its location at 39 High Bridge – the bridge that crosses over the River Tyne from the main Baltic gallery. The new arts centre will cost £10m and will open in April in a Grade II listed former printing warehouse. As well as a gallery, the building will also house studios for 32 artists. The new space would give artists ‘creative freedom to experiment and innovate’, the Baltic said. It will also provide a home for Northumbria University’s fine art students.

The Baltic says: ‘The building will bring together opportunities for training, creativity and exhibitions, offering a unique centre of artistic excellence, development and experimentation. It will act as a magnet to draw artists from across the world for teaching, residencies and exhibitions. It is this distinct and unparalleled range of services and opportunities which makes BALTIC 39 such an exciting addition to the region’s rich cultural offer.’

Its first exhibition, which opens on 6 April, will be curated by sculptor Phyllida Barlow and will use the work of 12 UK-based artists to examine the process of making art.

The exhibition programme is funded by Arts Council England. Regional director Alison Clark-Jenkins said: ‘A pioneering approach to partnership between public, cultural and academic institutions has resulted in a nationally significant visual arts facility, developing both artists and practice.’

‘At times this has been a long journey for the Arts Council and our partners – but we’ve ended up in a very exciting place.’

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