By Lizzie Anderson
June 3, 2018 - An England art gallery dedicated to the region’s coal mining heritage has welcomed its 10,000th visitor.
The Mining Art Gallery, part of The Auckland Project, reached the landmark figure eight months after its launch when Claire Vickers and her son Jack Bell, seven, walked through the doors.The pair visited the gallery, in Bishop Auckland Market Place, with friend Joanne Ames and her sons Elliot, nine, and Isaac, five, and took part in half-term craft activities, creating their own banners for the Durham Miners’ Gala.
Claire Vickers, third from left, the 10,000th visitor to the Mining Art Gallery with, from left, visitor experience assistant Alicia Simpson, Jack Bell, Joanne Ames, Elliot Ames and Isaac Ames
Photo by Jamie Sproates
Vickers, from Bishop Auckland, said: “My grandad was a miner so I like to bring the children to the gallery so they can understand their history. We quite often visit the Mining Art Gallery to take part in craft sessions, the kids love it and we always have a good time together. We enjoy looking round the gallery too, the children enjoy picking out which artworks they like best.”
Launched last October, the Mining Art Gallery attracted more than 2,000 visitors in its first week, as people flocked to see works by prominent mining artists such as Tom McGuinness and Norman Cornish. Since then, visitors have come from across the UK and as far a way as France, Spain, America, South America and Canada.
The gallery is run by team of 50 staff and volunteers, who also run daily Working the Seam talks, digging deeper to reveal more about the artworks on show.
Kathy Wilson, visitor experience officer at The Auckland Project, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have reached such an exciting milestone for the Mining Art Gallery. The heritage of our region is something we want to bring into the future and the feedback we have received since opening has shown that the mining art on display here still resonates strongly with both the local community and visitors from outside the region.”
The gallery is open daily from 10am to 4pm. Entry is £4 for adults and £3 for concessions. For more information, visit aucklandproject.org.
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