Hull, UK’s 2017 City of Culture, Gets New Contemporary Art Center

The city, once voted the country's worst place to live, is re-branding as an arts hub.

The entrance to the Humber Street Gallery in Hull, just before opening. Photo courtesy Humber Street Gallery on Facebook.

The city of Hull, in Northeast England, is getting a new contemporary art gallery, in the shape of The Humber Street Gallery. Opening today, February 3, it coincides with the city celebrating its status as the UK City of Culture in 2017. The project is part of a £26 million ($32 million) bid by the local council to rejuvenate art venues in the city.

The Humber Street Gallery, located in the city’s burgeoning cultural quarter known as the Fruit Market, opens with two concurrent exhibitions, one exploring the work of the COUM Transmissions collective, which was founded by Genesis Breyer P-Orridge and Cosey Fanni Tutti, the latter of whom is a Hull native. The other, “Power in Woman,” will focus on the work of Young British Artist Sarah Lucas.

COUM Transmissions. Courtesy Humber Street Gallery

COUM Transmissions. Courtesy Humber Street Gallery

Hull gets a bad rap, having been voted the worst place to live in Britain in 2013. However, since it was announced that the 2017 Turner Prize exhibition will be held at the Ferens Art Gallery in the city, which lies between Sheffield and Leeds, there has been an increasing amount of art-related activity taking place there.

“We are really excited to be opening Humber Street Gallery, which will be an amazing cultural asset for the city,” said program director Martin Green.

“It helps consolidate the Fruit Market’s status as a cultural quarter and adds to Hull’s already strong visual arts offer, which has been led by the wonderful Ferens Art Gallery and Brynmor Jones Library, as well as the smaller galleries and collectives to be found around the city.”

It seems Hull natives are happy to embrace the city’s cultural identity. Last summer, artist Spencer Tunick collaborated with the residents of Hull to create a nude work recreating the North Sea. Over 3000 people allowed themselves to be painted blue and photographed on the city streets.

Find out more about the Hull 2017 UK City of Culture program here.

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