PRESS RELEASE: The Modernist Society continues its struggle against the impending loss of Manchester’s finest modernist buildings with UMIST artist callout


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Sophie Berkley / 07999048422

In Case You Missed It

The Modernist Society are looking for artists responses to one of their favourite places in Manchester – UMIST.

This is for an upcoming exhibition and catalogue: 'In Case You Missed It' and selected artists will be part of their celebration of UMIST this winter.

With the forthcoming redevelopment of Manchester University's North Campus, formerly known as UMIST, The Modernist Society say the city is set to lose many of its original 1960's modernist landmarks. They look set to be demolished or re-purposed and the finest cluster of modernist buildings in the city lost for good.

It is now over ten years since The Modernist Society declared the UMIST campus a ‘crime scene’ during their uninvited artist’s residency. Now, they will once again celebrate the site that marked the era's 'white heat of technology'.

The Modernist Society will host an exhibition of artistic responses to the cultural, historical and personal impact that this important site has had on the city and beyond.

Interested artists working in painting, drawing, graphics, digital art, film and photography are invited to apply for participation. The Modernist Society want to hear from artists, creatives, past UMIST students and employees and lovers of concrete!

Selected artists will be given the opportunity to display and sell their work at The Modernist Society, a central Manchester gallery and bookshop dedicated to modernist architecture and design located on Port Street in the Northern Quarter.

Eddy Rhead, The Modernist Society, says: "The UMIST campus is very unique and very close to our hearts, so we want to celebrate it as it is now before it is inevitably altered beyond all recognition.

We aren't a heritage preservation group or indeed much of a campaigning organisation. We have always considering celebrating something a much more effective way of changes people’s opinions than campaigning so with this in mind we want artists to join us in this celebration.

We already know many artists who have used the campus as inspiration for their work and we are hoping there are more out these who can contribute to this exciting exhibition."

While there is no fee to submit your work, it can’t be guaranteed that every entry will be shown. An accompanying catalogue will be published which may include work not included in the exhibition due to very limited gallery space.

All work should respond to the history, heritage or buildings of the former UMIST campus.

The UMIST exhibition will take place from 3rd November – 23rd December 2023. You can find more information about how to enter the open call here.


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About The Modernist Society:

Founded as The Manchester Modernist Society in 2009 by Jack Hale, Eddy Rhead and Maureen Ward, The Modernist Society is a creative project dedicated to celebrating and engaging with twentieth century architecture, through publishing, events, exhibitions and creative collaborations.

Publishing arm 'the modernist' was established in 2011, initially publishing as a quarterly printed magazine. the modernist is now developing into a small press, publishing limited editions about 20th century architecture and design. The editor of the modernist is Ashiya Eastwood.

The Modernist Society enjoys the support of its excellent Patrons: Jonathan Meades and Johnny Marr. The Modernist Society is a not-for-profit Community Interest Company.