Fine Art Alumni Open "The Tetley" - Leeds' New Contemporary Art Centre
A group of Leeds University Fine Art alumni have officially opened a new cultural centre for Leeds, housed in the landmark former headquarters of the historic Tetley Brewery.
Kerry Harker and Pippa Hale
The Tetley , a new centre for contemporary art and learning, is the result of a long journey for Directors Pippa Hale (Fine Art BA 1996) and Kerry Harker (Fine Art BA 1994, MA 1995) along with Curator Zoe Sawyer (Fine Art International BA 2006).
As practising artists themselves and feeling that there was a lack of support and resources for artists based in the region, Hale and Harker set up artist-led organisation Project Space Leeds (PSL) in 2006, to provide a stepping stone and project space ethos for early and mid-career artists working in the city.
Kerry said; Between 2007 and 2012 we operated PSL from an empty unit in the citys west end development Whitehall Waterfront. We felt strongly that there was a gap in the cultural ecology in Leeds and that the city needed a contemporary arts venue and began looking for a more permanent home. The former brewery headquarter building provides a unique opportunity to take on an amazing landmark building that comes with an important local legacy that many people feel passionate about.
Pippa continued; A grant of £225,500 awarded by Arts Council England helped convert the ground, first and second floors of the building into high-quality showing spaces, learning and community facilities, event and retail spaces and a cafe/bar. There will a mix of exhibitions in a traditional sense, yet also support and project spaces for artists to be experimental. We are committed to making contemporary art accessible to a wider audience and to enthuse and excite audiences about contemporary art
The building will contain a beautiful triple-height exhibition space created by reopening the central atrium and restoring the interiors to their original 1930s glory, with dedicated learning and resource spaces. An active programme of events, including talks, screenings and workshops will enable people of all ages to engage with and participate in contemporary art. By creating opportunities for artists based in Leeds and across the north, and showing cutting-edge contemporary art created elsewhere, The Tetley will help raise the citys profile and to further cultural exchange between Leeds and other cities and places internationally.
See the programme for the launch weekend (29 November - 1 December).