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firstsite opens to the public

Posted: 25 September 2011 by ESCALA in News  

The University is a key partner of firstsite and supported the development of the multi-million pound new facility from the outset.

Internationally-acclaimed architect Rafael Viñoly, who has recently worked on the Battersea Power Station Masterplan, designed the building, which provides purpose-built gallery spaces for major international exhibitions.

The opening exhibition, titled Camulodunum after Colchester's pre-Roman name, considers how we learn about history through cultural objects. It showcases new commissions by international contemporary artists including Danh Vo and Aleksandra Mir, alongside works by Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore, JMW Turner and Andy Warhol.

The new firstsite gallery includes a dedicated space for the University to showcase elements of the unique Essex Collection of Art from Latin America (ESCALA). Its opening display, Southern Press, celebrates the importance of printmaking within the post-war artistic production of Brazil, Chile and Paraguay, focusing on the works of 13 printmakers.

firstsite also includes learning spaces for students and community groups, a 190-seat auditorium, and a café and restaurant, MUSA.

The University has a wide-reaching commitment to the community and for many years we have played a major part in the county's cultural life. Our partnership with firstsite will enable us to expand our community outreach work in the arts, particularly with school children and families, as well as the exchange of ideas between our academics and the community through public lectures, talks and debates.

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