- Date: 11 May 2012
- Region: North East
Godfrey Worsdale, BALTIC; Alison Clark-Jenkins, Arts Council England; Cllr Henri Murison, Newcastle City Council; Prof Andrew Wathey, Northumbria University outside BALTIC 39. Credit: Mark Pinder
BALTIC 39, based on High Bridge in the heart of Newcastle, and Brighton Road Studios in Bensham, Gateshead officially opened last month and are set to make big a big impact on the cultural sector in the north east and beyond the region.
Home to a new public gallery programmed by BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, a new space for Fine Arts students from Northumbria University to practice and 32 new studio spaces for regional artists, BALTIC 39 is a welcome addition to High Bridge, Newcastle city centre's latest cultural and creative quarter.
The building is set to be a hub of excellence, operating on a national and international stage. BALTIC Director Godfrey Worsdale, said: 'The new gallery space will enable exhibiting artists from all over the world to bring their work and ideas into a context that is also home to academic practice-based research and over 30 professional artists' studios. With these component parts, it's hard to imagine how BALTIC 39 would not contribute something special to contemporary art in the UK and particularly to the north east's burgeoning cultural community and creative economy.'
BALTIC 39 is supported by Arts Council England and Newcastle City Council in partnership with BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and Northumbria University. For more information go to www.balticmill.com/39
Brighton Road Studios are based in a Grade II listed church in Gateshead, converted to house 14 purpose-built artists' studios. Since opening in April artists have already started moving into the spaces. Brighton Road offers artists reduced rent and 24/7 access, along with the space they need to improve their practice.
The driving force behind the development has been Nick James, Director of Mushroom Works, a collection of studio spaces for artists, designers and makers in Newcastle's Ouseburn Valley. Nick said: 'Brighton Road Studios provides much needed space for creative people in Gateshead. Bringing together a community of creative people like this gives them space to support each other and share ideas, leading to results that are often more original, creative and impressive than when they work in isolation.'
Brighton Road Studios is supported by Arts Council England, Gateshead City Council and the European Regional Development Fund through the Department for Communities and Local Government. For more information go to www.brightonroadstudios.com
Alison Clark-Jenkins, Regional Director, Arts Council England said: 'The demand for studio space in the region highlights the importance of the creative economy in the north east. Both BALTIC 39 and Brighton Road Studios will support talented artists at all stages in their careers to develop their work. The impact of the artists and their practice, developed and supported in these exciting new creative spaces, will be felt far beyond the region.'