MK Gallery opened on Saturday 16 March with the Mayor of Milton Keynes arriving in a driverless pod and being handed a pair of scissors by a Starship Technology delivery robot to cut the ceremonial ribbon.
Big crowds gathered to be the first to visit the new MK Gallery and were treated to samples from the new MK Gallery Café/Bar and giveaways throughout the day.
Families and visitors enjoyed free face painting, badge making, bag printing and the new playscape as well as dance and street performances and live music in the Sky Room Auditorium.
The Gallery’s first exhibition, The Lie of the Land, features works and artefacts by over 85 artists and designers including Canaletto, Thomas Gainsborough, Rachel Whiteread and Yinka Shonibare CBE alongside one of the first lawn mowers, a vintage picnic basket and a protest banner from Greenham Common. The show charts how British landscape has been radically transformed through changing attitudes to free time and leisure. Entry for The Lie of the Land is free.
Anthony Spira, Director at MK Gallery said “It was an incredible opening weekend for MK Gallery and we were absolutely thrilled to welcome so many people to the new building. MK Gallery has Milton Keynes at its heart and it’s very much a space for the whole family to use and enjoy. From an artist designed playground and independent cinema to world class exhibitions and hugely popular family programmes, there really is something for everyone to enjoy. We look forward to welcoming many more people to the Gallery over the weeks, months and years ahead.”
The development of MK Gallery has seen the space increase to five galleries and the building of a new auditorium, a café bar, a Playscape, an independent shop and a dedicated learning studio. 6a architects worked in collaboration with artists Gareth Jones and Nils Norman in designing the new MK Gallery.
MK Gallery is open Tuesday to Sunday. Visit mkgallery.org for times and programmes.