THE wraps are finally off and Coventry University’s new Hub is open for students – but one part still being hidden from the world is the Lanchester Gallery.
Ironically the most prominent part of the building on a glass-walled corner is still a building site, with handover planned now for December.
But when it is open it will give a whole new focus to Lanchester Gallery Projects, which until now has held exhibitions in its much-smaller gallery in the university’s School of Art. There’s always been the problem there that although its exhibitions are officially open to the public it’s often hard to get into the building unless you have a university card to open the door – hopefully this new gallery won’t have that problem.
The new gallery’s position also puts pressure on to always have an exhibition in place – something the current gallery doesn’t do. It means Sadie Kerr, research assistant at Gallery Lanchester Projects is taking on more of a curatorial role. A bid is in to the Arts Council and if it comes off there will be a two-year programme of exhibitions, events and activities.
At the launch of The Hub, a champagne and oysters-fuelled event attended by many of Coventry’s most prominent faces, Coventry University Vice Chancellor Madeleine Atkins said the gallery would be a “catalyst” for Coventry’s contemporary art and cultural life, and would engage with local people and schools.
As it’s so close to The Herbert, the glass showcase and Browns – which has a changing series of exhibitions on its walls – it certainly makes the Jordan Well area the city’s Arts Quarter.
Exciting times – let’s hope the Arts Council bid comes off to get some interesting-sounding exhibitions off the ground.