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‘Onward together as one’ for University Gallery

1st October 2015

Northumbria Fine Art graduates Hope Stebbing and Oliver Perry will be among the first artists to exhibit in the University Gallery when it reopens in October.

Their artwork, Onward Together As One, recently helped inspire 57,000 runners during the Great North Run and will help mark the gallery’s reopening. From October, the Department of Arts will manage the University’s permanent art collection and exhibition spaces. There will be one gallery space located at the current University Gallery site, with all other exhibition spaces remaining unchanged. The re-opening follows a recent review, which explored how to better align what Northumbria does with what it shows by bringing the best of the art world to Northumbria University and the best of Northumbria University to the world. 

Mo Farah - Onward Together As One - CroppedMo Farah runs past the installation during the Great North Run. Photo courtesy of Colin Davison and GNRC.

Speaking about the changes, Associate Dean of Business and Engagement for Arts, Design and Social Sciences, Dr Heather Robson, said: “We are now working on a programme of events and exhibitions for 2015/16 and 2016/17 that will underpin and support our core activities of research, learning, teaching and business & engagement.

“Over the coming months we’ll work directly with students, academic colleagues and our considerable network of partners to develop a programme of work that supports talent and creative practice both within the University and the wider North East community.”

The decision to align the management of the collection and transform the gallery and exhibition experience was made following a review of all the University’s gallery and exhibition spaces, both on and off campus

Heather said: “The review was part of the University’s ongoing continuous improvement programme.  Its aim was to establish how we could increase our public engagement with the arts and retain our strong cultural commitment to the University, region and beyond.”

“Ultimately, the purpose of the University’s gallery and collection is to support teaching and research, and to enrich the student experience.  By not losing sight of that purpose, and making sure it is consistently met, these changes to the management of the University’s exhibition spaces will help ensure Northumbria’s position as a leading centre for supporting - and energising – both creative practice and academic study.”

Hope Stebbing And Oliver Perry - Onward Together As One - CroppedHope Stebbing and Oliver Perry. Photo courtesy of Colin Davison and GNRC.

Onward Together As One, a commission by Great North Run Culture, will go on display in October. The University has also confirmed that The People Show will go ahead in 2016 with a confirmed prize worth £5,000. The show, one of the North East’s most celebrated open competitions for artists, has a new, extended deadline for entries – January 28 2016 – with an exhibition date to be announced in the New Year. All existing applications for the show will remain in consideration for the prize. Anyone interested in applying for The People Show or with any questions should call the University Gallery on (0191) 227 4424 or email:

Northumbria is a leader in the North East cultural sector and is committed to investing in and developing new artistic talent. The University is the host of the Woon Fine Art and Sculpture Prize, which at £40,000 is equal in value to the Turner Prize, and is also about to announce the new recipient of the £20,000 Warwick Stafford fellowship. Last year, Northumbria entered the Top 10 universities in the UK for art and design ‘research power’ following the results of the Research Excellence Framework 2014. The University offers a wide range of course across these disciplines. For more information about go to:

The Gallery will officially reopen on 21 October, the same night as the opening of the Warwick Stafford fellow Laurence Kavanagh’s new exhibition October at Gallery North. 

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