North West Visual Arts Open – Preston, Thursday 26 to Sunday 29 April

An exciting weekend of art, poetry, music and real ale takes place in Preston from Thursday 26 to Sunday 29 April 2012 as part of the North West Visual Arts Open weekends.  A wide range of cultural events and activities, many of them free, are taking place in venues across the city to showcase and promote access to local and international artists and their work.

The main events take place on Saturday 28 April and include an Art Picnic at Avenham Pavilion from 2pm to 5pm where you can chat, draw and make music with artists and studio groups from across the North West. From 12pm The Harris Museum & Art Gallery is running a special series of tours, events and activities including a family-friendly pottery workshop.

The weekend is part of a series of North West Visual Arts Open weekends that are taking place across the region to encourage people interested in the arts from other towns and cities to visit new places, and to experience what the visual arts has to offer and current developments in artist’s practice.  The next weekend takes place in Manchester from 18 – 20 May 2012.

Key highlights of the Preston weekend include:

Thursday 26 April 

PR1 Gallery, University of Central Lancashire

Private view:  Count on it… 5pm to 8pm, FREE

Count on it… is an exhibition by second year Textiles and Surface Pattern students from UCLAN’s School of Art Design and Performance. They have considered the many ways that numbers structure our lives, and have re-interpreted this through textile technique. You are invited to visit an exhibition of this work…and to be counted. Exhibition runs from 27 April to 11 May 2012.

Friday 27 April 

Oxheys Mill Studios

Exhibition: Time, Place & Negotiated Space
11am to 4pm, FREE

This exhibition, curated by Professor Lubaina Himid MBE, features work by Oxheys’s female artists-in-residence on the themes of time, place and negotiated space.


Arkwright’s Brewery

The Transit of Venus Tasting Evening

6pm to 8pm. £5 on the door, includes drinks and snacks.

Artist David Henckel has collaborated with Arkwright’s Brewery to produce a real ale, based on a recipe from the 1700s, to celebrate the transit of Venus, as part of his In Certain Places commission. Come and try this 7.1% IPA and sample the full range of Arkwright’s beers in the intimate surroundings of The Real Ale Shop. Throughout the evening you’ll be able to find out more about the project, get some tips from the brewers and take home a bottle or two of ale to sip during astronomical events. Places limited so please register by emailing


Saturday 28 April 

Oxheys Mill Studios

Exhibition: Time, Place & Negotiated Space
11am to 4pm, FREE

Last chance to see this exhibition, curated by Professor Lubaina Himid MBE, which features work by Oxheys’s female artists-in-residence on the themes of time, place and negotiated space.


Harris Museum & Art Gallery

Curator’s Tour 

12pm to 12.30pm, FREE

Join us for a tour of current exhibition A Private Affair, which tells the personal stories behind private collections of contemporary art asking; why do people collect contemporary art, what influences decisions on collecting, and how does it affect or enhance their lives? The exhibition includes a wide range of artistic styles and practice from the past 40 years. Artists of regional and national importance are represented including Tracey Emin, Inka Essenhigh, Gordon Cheung, Roger Hiorns, Patrick Heron, Haroon Mirza, Fiona Rae and Rachel Whiteread.


Harris Museum & Art Gallery

Workshop: Global Threads spoken word and drama 

1pm to 4pm, FREE. Booking required, call 01772 905414

Unleash your writing and performing skills with urban slam poet, Louise Fazackerly, using the Global Threads: Asian Textiles and Fashion Today exhibition as your inspiration. Suitable for ages 14+.


Harris Museum & Art Gallery

Collections Talk: Ceramics by William de Morgan and Walter Crane

1.30pm to 2pm, FREE

Join us for a talk by two of the Harris’ volunteers about the Arts & Craft Movement.

Avenham Pavilion

Art Picnic

2pm to 5pm, FREE

An afternoon of art, cake and conversation. Meet, chat, draw, collaborate, debate and connect with artists, studio groups and art professionals from the North West and beyond in the beautiful surroundings of Avenham Park. Bring something interesting to be photocopied/photographed to be included in our Art Picnic publication, and something that makes a noise for a very special improvised electro–acoustic performance. Food and drink will be provided, but hey…. this is a picnic, so please bring something to share. The party moves to the nearby Continental Pub and Arts Space for drinks from 5pm. 


The Harris Museum and Art Gallery

Workshop: The Potter’s Apprentice

2pm to 4pm, FREE

Bring your family and drop in to this workshop where you’ll get the chance to make press pots with clay in the Glass & Ceramics Gallery and find out more about life as a Potter’s Apprentice.


Sunday 29 April

Latham Street to Oxheys Mill Studios

Public event: Satellite Navigation – The Journey

12pm at Latham Street
If you were continually in transit, what would you take with you? Would it be your beloved antique violin or the sleeping bags, an expensive video camera or a rucksack of food, your jewellery box or the first aid kit? Join artist Susan Walsh from 12pm for a journey through Preston starting at Latham Street  and finishing at  Oxheys Mill on Stanhope Street. After arrival the exhibition will be installed and will open with a preview on 3 May, 5 to 7pm. All welcome.


For further information about what’s on visit:

Join in the conversation: #NWopen


The North West Visual Arts Open weekends are co-ordinated by North by NorthWest, Visual Arts in Liverpool and Contemporary Visual Arts Manchester.


Venue information

Arkwright’s Brewery

47 Lovat Road, Preston

T: 01772 463253 /

E: /


Avenham Pavilion

Avenham Park, South Meadow Lane, Preston, PR1 8JT

T: 01772 907737 /

For more information about Art Picnic email


The Continental Pub and Arts Space

South Meadow Lane, Preston, PR1 8JP

T: 01772 499207 /


Harris Museum and Art Gallery
Market Square, Preston, PR1 2PP
T: 01772 258248 /


Oxheys Mill Studios

Oxheys Mill on Stanhope Street, just off Brook Street, Preston PR1 7PN
PR1 Gallery

University of Central Lancashire, Victoria Building, Preston PR1 2HE

Further press information and images

Rhiannon Butlin

T: 07855 303792

The Preston Visual Arts Open is supported by Lancashire County Council, Arts Council England, Preston City Council, UCLAN, The Two Hats, Oxheys Mill Studios and New Continental.


Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: