An introduction to Newcastle’s thriving arts scene

With countless venues to explore, where should you start?

Sarah Tunstall
23rd September 2022

Newcastle boasts a rich arts scene -  from museums, to galleries, to spontaneous events, this is your essential guide to the city’s arts community and an introduction to some of its best venues.

There are three main art gallerys in Newcastle.

The Hatton Gallery is located on campus in the Fine Art Building and showcases art from students in MFA Fine Art and MA creative arts as well as further exhibitions during the year from other curators.

Further into town from the university campus on New Bridge Street West is the Laing Art Gallery. If you love classical art this gallery is for you. It showcases baroque and art nouveau exhibitions rather than modern art.

The last of these three main museums is the Baltic Contemporary Art Museum located over the bridge in Gateshead. Its exhibitions are quite like the Tate, and it also has interactive play and art for children, or for new university students who need a breather. It’s currently holding a six-month long exhibition that ends 2nd October by Mounira Al Solh, “A day as long as a year”, which integrates embroidery, paper and film to explore themes of migration, trauma and loss. 

Image Credit: @balticgateshead, Instagram

If you are looking to support independent businesses within the art industry, one of the main suggestions I can give is to check out Cobalt Studios in Shieldfield. 

Cobalt Studios contains a mixture of art and music. Normally in the beginning of the week from Monday to Wednesday their events are focused on art and literature including such things as live drawings and poetry slams as well as writing and art workshops in the afternoon. Thursdays are always dedicated to new artists who perform their music. Bear in mind this is a sit-down gig, but if you get the £10 ticket you are also given a home cooked meal, which always tastes amazing. During the weekend the studios become more like a club atmosphere and often host events for new DJs, including a women DJs only evening. Cobalt Studios' Autumn Programme is due to be released 19th September.

Image Credit: @cobaltstudios.ouseburn, Instagram

Newcastle is filled with art events and venues beyond these suggestions too. During the year, you will find many spontaneous art events taking place down Grainger Street down towards the Grey’s Monument. Often showing up overnight unexpectedly, there have been live art exhibitions, music performances and markets for handmade art and jewellery. So, keep an eye out!

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