We couldn’t narrow it down to just five, so here Impact Arts presents our favourite arty spaces in Nottingham…
Nottingham Castle Museum and Art Gallery:
Nottingham Castle is perhaps Nottingham’s most iconic building, and contains a wealth of art and artefacts to satisfy even the most curious of minds. They have both permanent collections and temporary, ever-changing exhibitions, all set within the magnificent architecture of the Castle itself. The Castle hosts numerous festivities throughout the year, including the much-famed Robin Hood Beer and Cider Festival and the Robin Hood Pageant (can you tell Nottingham likes to boast about our connection with the man in green tights?) The volunteer program at the Castle is huge, and there are opportunities to get involved with anything and everything; there’s also the Illuminate group for 16-25 year olds who want to get involved with the Castle and other Nottingham museums!
Based at the edge of the Lace Market, Nottingham Contemporary is home to 770m2 of contemporary visual arts exhibitions, which change multiple times a year. Also featuring an extensive shop, café, and public programs scheme, the Contemporary is committed to interacting with the public wherever they can. They host spot talks and gallery walk-throughs every week, and have close partnerships with both NTU and UoN. Their Advocate and Collabor-8 Collective projects are specifically aimed at young people, and provide valuable behind-the-scenes experience for those looking to get involved with the creative scene in the future.
Nottingham Lakeside Arts:
Located on UoN’s University Park campus, Nottingham Lakeside Arts is made up of numerous creative spaces, including the Djanogly Recital Hall, Djanogly Gallery, Djanogly Theatre, University of Nottingham Museum and Weston Gallery, which are all dedicated to creating and providing a rich and varied selection of events, shows and exhibitions throughout the year. There are frequent talks and tours of the galleries, and staff are delighted to help with any questions or queries you might have, from group visits to the gallery to handling the museum’s artefacts. NLA offers outreach schemes both within and outside the University, including Advantage Award modules for UoN students, and school volunteering projects with the museum.
Malt Cross/Handmade Nottingham:
Though technically a pub, Malt Cross is too creative a space to pass up! Heritage Lottery Funding in 2014 allowed for the development and refurbishment of the Henderson Gallery downstairs, which Malt Cross now uses to display the work of local artists – it is currently being used to host the Midlands Printmakers Open 2016. Malt Cross also offers workshops and classes throughout the year, from printmaking, to music, to the monthly Stitch ‘n’ Bitch.
Though not technically part of Malt Cross (even if they do have an internal door connecting the two spaces!), Handmade Nottingham also deserves a mention. They stock and sell the work of artists and designers from across Nottingham, and provide a space for creatives, regardless of experience or medium, to showcase and sell their work.
Cobden Chambers/Cobden Place:
Squirreled away up an alley off of Pelham Street, Cobden Chambers is a surprisingly creative place. Filled with independent creatives and their shops, it’s an amazing place to meet unique designers and get to know the Nottingham Art Scene better. From clothing, to jewellery, to independent and creative publications, you can find it here!
Taking up the large building at the far end of Cobden Chambers, Cobden Place is one of the lesser-known creative spaces of Nottingham. Home to creative and design agencies Waste Studio and Serosensa, and printing studio Dizzy Ink, this is a place where the creative juices flow unimpeded. Cobden Place is also home to the School of Print, an open-access screen printing facility which offers its industry standard equipment and access to its workshop program to the general public – if you want to try screen printing this is one of the best places in Nottingham to find out more!
New Art Exchange:
Located out of the city centre, near Forest Recreation Ground, New Art Exchange is the largest gallery in the UK dedicated to culturally diverse contemporary visual arts. They aim to provide a constantly changing program of exhibitions, film screenings, lectures, festival and live performances, alongside a huge outreach program aimed at families and young people – and all for free! Throughout each year they manage to host twenty exhibitions and at least ninety events and performances, as well as providing specialist support for culturally diverse artists.
Based in central Nottingham, City Arts is a charity formed around the idea that art can bring communities closer together and enrich people’s lives – they’re not wrong! They target their programs towards vulnerable groups, and have a thriving outreach program that runs throughout the year. Their Young Producers group is aimed at 18-30 year olds, with the intention of spreading enthusiasm and interest in art among young people in Nottingham, and the Express Yourself group, aimed at 13-17 year olds, encourages young people to express themselves through art in any way they see fit!