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Visual arts

We want to make and show great visual arts in County Durham that is enjoyed by an increasing number of people.

All visual arts exhibitions are on hold due to Covid-19. 

Our permanent exhibitions

Ps in a Pod

The same and different is a cast iron sculptural installation currently touring different locations across County Durham. The P sculptures appear similar in form but each one is unique and differs slightly to all others - just like people. Like humans, the sculptures have a sense of adventure and energy. The sculptures respond to their environment and their location alters the personality of the artworks so the diverse landscapes of County Durham create very different settings for the sculptures.

They are now installed in their permanent home at Wharton Park, Durham. 

Our venues

Gala Gallery

Gala Gallery is located within the Gala Theatre, Durham in the centre of Durham. It shows changing exhibitions of modern and contemporary art by regional, national and international artists which make associations with the context of the Theatre programme.  

Current exhibition 

Oh I do like to be...

By Diane Watson

Wednesday 8 September to Wednesday 6 November

Artist Diane Watson, uses hundreds of plastic items, found washed up on north east beaches, to create artworks designed to highlight the scale of pollution in our oceans. 

This free exhibition showcases intricate pieces created using a wide range of discarded objects such as plastic bottle lids, fishing line, tampon applicators, lighters and children's toys.

Former fashion and textiles tutor Diane collected her art materials from the region's coastline, including several County Durham beaches. Her environmentally-themed works aim to inspire a shift in attitudes towards single-use plastics and viewers are challenged to inspect waste objects in an unfamiliar context, considering not just the manufacturing cost of plastic products but the cost to the environment.
The colourful kaleidoscopic patterns in Diane's art are reminiscent of the 1970s wallpapers of her childhood and were inspired by the sample books brought home by her painter and decorator father.

Open daily 10.00am to 8.30pm

McGuiness Gallery

The McGuiness Gallery is located within Bishop Auckland Town Hall in the centre of Bishop Auckland. 

Our aims

We aim to:

  • provide high quality visual arts events and exhibitions that promote County Durham as a destination and attract visitors from beyond the region
  • offer opportunities for employment and development of professional artists from County Durham and the North East
  • engage high quality artists create work in County Durham making connections to the national and international visual arts scene
  • create visual arts programmes that challenge, provoke and inspire audiences
  • embed education and learning opportunities within all visual arts activity in order to expand knowledge, understand and raise aspirations
  • provide high quality, interactive community engagement linked to and promoting wellbeing and enjoyment