Turner Contemporary Marks Its Tenth Anniversary

April 16 2021 marked 10 years exactly since we first opened our doors to visitors in 2011.

Ten years on, Turner Contemporary has welcomed more visits than it was ever imagined and become one of the UK’s leading art galleries.

Today, Turner Contemporary is much more than the now instantly recognisable building which features on the UK £20 note.

We are a space for our community in the heart of an exciting, creative town. Over the last 10 years we have exhibited the work of over 2000 artists and put £70million back into the Kent economy.

Many people have grown up with the gallery and the learning and educational opportunities it provides; 100,000 local children and young people have worked with us since 2011.

Margate has changed enormously in the last decade, but we still have lots to do to ensure that the work of the gallery has real impact for everyone – particularly after the last year.

Over the next year, we will be sharing stories and reflections from the last 10 years, but more importantly, we will be looking towards the future and planning for the next 10 years and beyond.  ​

Thank you for being part of our journey so far.

Our 2021 Programme

Programme led by internationally renowned artists and local talent working with Margate and Kent communities

Founded in celebration of JMW Turner’s connection with the town, we celebrate our namesake’s spirit of radical enquiry through an ongoing programme of exhibitions inviting dialogue between Turner’s ground breaking work and contemporary artists. Following exhibitions by Helen Frankenthaler, Joachim Koester and Katie Paterson, our programme continues in 2021 with an exhibition by Kent- born artist, Ellen Harvey, paired with JMW Turner.

Further highlights within the gallery in 2021 include the presentation of Steve McQueen’s film-installation Ashes; the Turner Contemporary Open 2021, a major open exhibition celebrating the creativity of the artistic community in Margate and across Kent; a new joint commission by Anne Ryan and Sophie von Hellerman created for the Sunley Gallery, and the continuation of Barbara Walker’s Place, Space and Who, which was created over a four-month residency at Turner Contemporary in 2019.

Year-round, Turner Contemporary invites outstanding contemporary artists to work within and beyond its gallery walls, in partnership with local communities and in its spectacular coastal surroundings.

Beyond the gallery, offsite projects and installations created in collaboration with local communities include new commissions by Conrad Shawcross and Yinka Illori; the unveiling of April is the Cruellest Month, a new sculpture by Michael Rakowitz commissioned as part of Waterfronts for England’s Creative Coast; and a new series of audio works by composer Emily Peasgood who has been commissioned to create a series of sound pieces to be played across seven train stations in Thanet as part of the Creative Isle Community Rail Partnership.  Antony Gormley’s Another Time will remain in Margate, in front of our building, for another 10 years.

We are planning to reopen the gallery on Tuesday 18 May, subject to Government guidance and the completion of our capital scheme.  We will be operating a free booking ticketing system for audiences as we did last summer. This will open on 10 May. Covid secure measures will be in place. In addition, our new catering partner, Barletta will be taking on the operation of the gallery café and are also planning to be open from 18 May.

We will be announcing further dates and more detail about our programme in the coming weeks, sign up to our mailing list to be the first to hear about our upcoming exhibitions.

Turner Contemporary would not be what it is today without the involvement of many organisations and individuals.

Thank you to our founding partner and core funder Kent County Council whose ambitious vision to establish a gallery in Margate has been instrumental in Turner Contemporary’s development and success.

Our thanks also go to Arts Council England who have also invested in the gallery from the outset, and Thanet District Council as a supporter and partner.

We are, of course, also incredibly grateful to all our major donors, funders, patrons, sponsors and supporters as well as our staff and trustees – in particular our founding Board led by John Kampfner and our current board of trustees chaired by Clive Stevens.

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Explore Art Online

Whilst we have been closed, we've been developing new digital commissions in collaboration with artists