Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art is seeking artists to help shape a major new exhibition opening this autumn. Titled Localism, the project will explore the role the town and its residents have played in the development of art and society.
The exhibition will examine the artists who have lived and worked in Middlesbrough, past and present, telling the story of the full range of artistic activities that have been undertaken since the town was industrialised in the 19th century.
New mima director, Alistair Hudson, who was previously deputy director of Grizedale Arts and is a member of this year’s Turner Prize panel, says: “The concept of local isn’t visible in the international art world. This project seeks to question how art can work in ordinary life and the way we live day to day. It also explores what and who a museum is for and looks at the politics of asserting local culture in a globalising world.”
A series of workshops are planned to start building the ‘family tree’ of art in the area. These will provide the platform for an exhibition that will continue to grow throughout its run, with people invited to add to the story.
“Middlesbrough has a unique and fascinating history of artist and makers and we don’t celebrate this enough,” says Hudson. “Localism is a truly collaborative project and who better to help curate the show than the people who work and live in the area.”