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mima joins the national portfolio

  • Date: 30 March 2011
  • Artform: Visual arts
  • Area: North
Four young children sit on a bench reading mima programmes Children and Young people at Mima, photo by Gilmar Ribeiro

Situated in the heart of Middlesbrough, the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (mima) is recognised as one of the UK's leading galleries for modern and contemporary art and crafts. In April 2012 the world class arts organisation will join the Arts Council's new national portfolio.

Part of Middlesbrough Council, mima hosts temporary exhibitions of fine art and crafts including painting, drawing, ceramics, jewellery, design, sound, film, mixed media, photography and sculpture from 1900 to the present.  

Since opening to international critical acclaim in 2007, more than 400,000 visitors - including almost 17,000 children taking part in organised school trips - have been drawn to the gallery's landmark building where admission is free.

A dynamic programme of exhibitions showcases work by internationally acclaimed artists. Anish Kapoor, Steve McQueen, Gerhard Richter, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, William McKeown and Anders Ruhwald are among the leading artists whose work has been presented so far.

mima was also the first public gallery to commission Turner prize-winning artist Richard Wright to create a permanent work.

A diverse range of innovative events

Artists talks, daily exhibition tours, free screenings at the mima cineclub, the mini mima series of interactive art activities for children up to four years old and - for the more mature art lover - three art fairs are just some of the 650 events that have given people of all ages opportunities to experience and be inspired by the arts at mima in its first three years.

mima's success has attracted more than £1.3 million of awards, which the gallery has used to help Middlesbrough build on its important collection of art. This includes investing a £1 million award from the Art Fund International scheme towards building a world class contemporary drawing collection in Middlesbrough. Well over 100 significant works of art have also been gifted to the city.

The gallery is building on its success through national partnerships with Tate and the Crafts Council, and international partnerships with the Drawing Centre in New York and the National Museums of Berlin. Plus the Tate network sees mima working with the Tate Gallery and other leading visual arts organisations to exchange ideas, knowledge, skills and resources, as well as programmes and collections.

An award-winning building

mima and the adjacent Centre Square have won a number of prestigious awards for their design. The building's designers, Erick can Egeraat Architects, won a RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) award in 2007. mima won a Renaissance Award from The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors in the same year. In 2009 the gallery and Square were among the winners in the biennial Hadrian Awards, which celebrate the best in architecture and the design of the built environment in the North East and Cumbria. mima received capital funding support of £4,550,000 from Arts Council England.

When it opened mima brought together for the first time the collections of Middlesbrough Art Gallery and the Cleveland Craft Centre. Rather than being on permanent display, works from the collection are drawn upon throughout the exhibition programme. mima has so far presented 10 collection shows, showcasing works in new and interesting ways. The contents of the most recent exhibition were chosen by members of the public, through a vote and an apprenticeship scheme.

The gallery's permanent jewellery collection is unique in the UK for its focus on contemporary international practice.

Read The value of mima report here:

Find out more about visual arts in Arts Council's new national portfolio.