Urbis is leaving the building…

urbis has left the building

It’s a disappointing start to the year for Manchester. As chief executive Vaughan Allen tweeted recently, it’s sad that the Urbis is closing at the end of a decade when it was supposed to be a millenium project.

So to commemorate its eight years of groundbreaking popular culture exhibitions, the team are putting together one last exhibition. So can you put your hands together for Urbis has left the building: six years of the best exhibitions in pop culture.

Vaughan Allen, chief executive of Urbis since 2005, said: “No other gallery space has provided popular culture with a serious platform in the way that we have, with a genuine passion that made us unique, consistently giving credibility and backing to subjects that most galleries and museums would overlook. I am very proud that in such short period we have earned a global reputation for our work.”

And he’s right. As I’ve previously mentioned, I don’t know of any other venue that delves into our popular and urban culture in the same way that Urbis has. It is said that there will still be space for Urbis exhibitions in among all those stinky old football t-shirts, but obviously it just won’t be the same. It goes without saying that this is a massive backwards step for the arts and culture in Manchester, and also takes away one of Preston’s popular attractions.

The last exhibition will be a retrospective with five sections: international artists; design, fashion and architecture; Manchester’s creative community, music culture and family shows.

The exhibition will be on from January 21 – February 27.
Urbis is open daily 10am-6pm
Entry to Urbis is free
Urbis, Cathedral Gardens, Manchester, M4 3BG
Tel: 0161 605 8200 www.urbis.org.uk


  • Eric Bondlu
    January 28, 2010 - 6:15 pm | Permalink

    It’s not a ‘massive step backwards for arts and culture in Manchester’ because Urbis never really managed to make much of a contribution to the city. There has never been much sense of the exactly what the company is for – it was a misconceived project from the start, one of the several ‘let’s have a big flash building for the millenium and THEN let’s think about what the hell to DO with it!”

    It’s a shame that Urbis is going so soon – perhaps it could still have been made to work. But the question of how so much lottery money could be wasted on such a bum project needs now to be answered.

  • February 1, 2010 - 12:49 pm | Permalink

    This is a blow to Manchester Urbis had some great exhibitions that promoted Manchester as a cultural leader, I appreciate what @eric is saying as I think the whole thing has been handled badly as their could have been more potential.
    Manchester has a lot to offer and Urbis was a part of that sad to see it go

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