Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Museum Of The Year winner announced

(Marc Atkins)
(Marc Atkins)

A gallery which transformed into a food bank and helped serve free school meals during the pandemic has won a top award.

Firstsite in Colchester, Essex, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary, has been crowned Museum Of The Year.

It is a contemporary arts organisation which displays a mix of historic, modern and contemporary art from around the world, and puts emphasis on building relationships with artists and the local community.

Firstsite is celebrating its 10th anniversary (Anna Lukala)

During the pandemic, it lent its building to a neighbouring charity, Community 360, so it could be repurposed into a base for delivering food to vulnerable people in the local area.

Alongside the charity African Families, it also helped combat “holiday hunger” by turning the gallery’s restaurant into a school canteen and serving free school meals during the school holidays.

During the lockdown period, it led The Great Big Art Exhibition, which encouraged people to display their own art in their windows, and created activity packs featuring more than 50 artists to entertain people at home, which were downloaded by more than 92,000 households.

Over the last year, it has also worked with NHS staff on a project, Art for Life, with the aim of helping to understand the impact of Covid-19 on mental health and with refugees to bring their stories to a wider audience.

The director of Firstsite, Sally Shaw, was presented with the £100,000 prize at a ceremony at the Science Museum in London.

It beat Centre for Contemporary Art Derry – Londonderry, Experience Barnsley, Thackray Museum of Medicine in Leeds and Timespan in Helmsdale, Sutherland to be named Art Fund Museum Of The Year.

Michael Landy’s Welcome to Essex at Firstsite gallery (Jayne Lloyd)

Jenny Waldman, Art Fund director and chairwoman of the judges for Art Fund Museum of the Year, said:  “We’re proud to announce Firstsite in Colchester as Art Fund Museum of the Year 2021.

“From inspiring everyone to turn their windows into a nationwide gallery during lockdown to feeding local kids in the school holidays, they are an outstanding example of innovation and integrity.

“At their core is powerful, engaged contemporary art, housed in a gallery that gives space for everyone, from artists to NHS staff to local families and refugee groups.

“They exceeded all our expectations.

“Here is a small organisation thinking big and caring for their local community. Here is excellence in Essex.”

Last year, the prize was awarded to five venues who shared a £200,000 prize.

The winners included Gairloch Museum in Scotland, Aberdeen Art Gallery, Towner Eastbourne, and in London, the Science Museum and South London Gallery.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]