Friends of Rochdale Art Gallery visit Rochdale's Arts & Heritage Resource Centre

Date published: 10 February 2024

Friends of Rochdale Art Gallery (FRAG) visited the Arts & Heritage Resource Centre on Fishwick Street, Rochdale, in January for a genial and fruitful update and planning meeting with Your Trust staff and a guided tour of the art galleries and museum collections.

Since the closure of Touchstones in August 2023 for extensive refurbishment and renovation, there has not been a gallery for FRAG to be friends of!

This came on top of much change and disruption in recent ‘interesting times’ with the pandemic and the change of the traditional monthly meeting day. However, the Friends are keen to stay alive and thriving until 2025 when Touchstones is due to reopen.

Mark Doyle, director of arts, heritage and wellness at Your Trust, outlined plans for exciting new developments whilst restoring its heritage, which should revitalise arts provision in the borough and beyond.

Sarah Hodgkinson, senior curator, exhibitions and collections, talked through the programme of FRAG talks and events that she has devised for 2024. These will take place on the second Thursday of each month at Rochdale Music Service, 7-11 The Butts, Rochdale OL16 1XT at 1pm.

Sarah rounded this off with a fascinating tour of the collections stored in the Tardis-like Arts & Heritage Resource Centre. Like a sneak peek in the wings of a theatre, the engine room of a liner, or a restaurant kitchen, the magical mystery tour behind the scenes revealed a complex world replete with racks of paintings in various states of conservation, carefully notated and preserved objects ancient and modern, even a 3D printer copying an ammonite fossil near to Ancient Egyptian artefacts.

A strengthened symbiotic relationship between FRAG and Your Trust augers well for the future.

Next FRAG meeting – all welcome.
Thursday 14 March 2024 - 1pm for 1.30pmat Rochdale Music Service 7–11 The Butts, Rochdale OL16 1XT
Annual Subscriptions £10; entry is £4 (£3 members)
More information from 01706 648872.

Dr Joe Dawson, interim chair of FRAG

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