Ikon to reopen gallery doors as it emerges from lockdown

By Tony Collins

The internationally acclaimed Ikon art gallery will reopen to the public after a gap of five months following its enforced closure due to coronavirus.

Ikon, which has been a contemporary arts venue since it was first established in 1964, will reopen its doors in Oozells Square, Brindleyplace, on Thursday 20 August.

The new opening times are 3pm to 7pm on Thursdays, and 12-m to 4pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. It is closed Monday to Wednesday.

The gallery’s spring season of exhibitions, featuring John Newling, Judy Watson and Mariateresa Sartori, had only just started before the Covid-19 pandemic led to its closure in March.

This was a huge disappointment for the artists who had spent years preparing their exhibitions, as well as future audiences who could no longer visit.

The dates for John Newling’s ‘Dear Nature’ and Judy Watson’s exhibition have both been extended until 6 September to allow people the opportunity to view them.

Unfortunately, Ikon’s summer season, including a survey exhibition about the gallery in the 1990s and the annual Migrant Festival, inspired by Birmingham’s cultural diversity, has had to be postponed until next year.

However, from 17 September, Ikon will present an exhibition of sculptural work by Czech artist Krištof Kintera entitled THE END OF FUN! after a brief closure for installation.

Admission to the Ikon gallery, which has been on its present site since 1997, is still free, but visitors are required to book online in advance.

New guidelines have also been introduced to ensure safety, including reduced capacity, one-way systems and hand sanitiser stations.

Staff at the Ikon team will also be on hand to answer any queries as they welcome visitors back.

Jonathan Watkins, director of the Ikon, said: “We are very happy to be back at Ikon, welcoming visitors in the same friendly spirit, but now with the added frisson of face masks, sanitisers and social distancing. In other words, the artistic experience we offer will be as safe as it is exciting.

“We look forward very much to sharing new adventures in new ways, as it should be with contemporary art.”

As well as the gallery space, Ikon also houses an independent shop, stocking local authors and makers, and Yorks Café, serving speciality coffee and delicious lunches.

▪ Anyone unable to visit Ikon in person is encouraged to view films, artist interviews and family activities online at https://www.ikon-gallery.org/ .

▪ As a charity, Ikon says it needs public support now more than ever. Donations can be made in person, online at http://www.ikon-gallery.org/support/ , or by calling the Ikon shop on 0121 248 0711.

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