A brand new museum and art space will open in the city centre on Friday and today the University of Hertfordshire’s arts centre, UH Arts, has announced details of its ongoing partnership to programme world-class visual arts exhibitions and events.

The new £7.75 million St Albans Museum + Gallery will officially open to the public on Friday following a two-year restoration of the city’s Georgian Grade II listed Town Hall (built in 1831).

St Albans & Harpenden Review:

Annabel Lucas, head of UH Arts, University of Hertfordshire said: “UH Arts is delighted to be working in partnership with St Albans Museum + Gallery. We bring 20 years of exhibition curation expertise to create exhibitions that respond to this unique building, collections and audiences. Our collaboration with colleagues at the museum offers countless possibilities. We will bring a range of surprising and innovative displays and projects, uniting the old and the contemporary.”

St Albans & Harpenden Review:

(Gillam-Hull Katy Fragments)

The museum and gallery aims to showcase over 2,000 years of priceless heritage and host cutting-edge art exhibitions, sharing local, national and world treasures with all. The project has been made possible with funding from St Albans City and District Council, an award from the Heritage Lottery Fund and a special partnership with the University of Hertfordshire.

Chris McIntyre, dean of cultural affairs at the University of Hertfordshire, says: “The University is delighted that its long-term partnership with the City of St Albans and the St Albans Museum and Galleries Trust has culminated in the creation of this fantastic cultural resource.

“The galleries in the Town Hall are 50 metres away from the old St Albans School of Art site on Victoria Street where art and design education and exhibitions commenced in the city over 150 years ago. It is fitting that this continuing partnership has created a permanent home for these activities in one of the city’s best-known buildings.”

St Albans & Harpenden Review:

For the St Albans Museum + Gallery opening, UH Arts has secured the following high profile work for visitors to enjoy: Lyndall Phelps, Abi Spendlove and Katy Gillam-Hull will present Accumulate – a showcase of artworks and artefacts created over three years responding to the intriguing history of the museum.

Lyndall Phelps will also present new commission Flutter – artwork which will spread throughout the museum and is inspired by the Alexander Hopkins British Butterfly collection which was once part of St Albans Museums’ collection.

Susie MacMurray will present new installation Masquerade – impactful artwork made with surprising materials that responds to the architecture of the spectacular Assembly Room.

St Albans & Harpenden Review:

Later in 2018, UH Arts has confirmed Hayward Touring, who will present Hand Drawn, Action Packed; an exhibition bringing together ten major international artists whose practice explores the infinite possibilities of drawing.

This exhibition will open at St Albans Museum + Gallery, before touring throughout the UK. Artists featured include Marcel Dzama, Marcel van Eeden, Inci Eviner, Yun Fei Ji, William Kentridge, Nalini Malani, Otobong Nkanga, Raymond Pettibon, Amy Sillman and Rinus Van de Velde.