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A Transformational Project for the Modern Art Oxford Community

30 November 2023

We are currently working with RIBA award-winning practice, David Kohn Architects, on a transformational refurbishment of our ground and lower-ground public areas. This will mean the gallery will be closed next summer, reopening in autumn 2024 with a completely redesigned welcome area, a new ground-floor gallery, an artist-designed café and an expanded Creative Space.

The project has been informed by an extensive public consultation process involving over 350 people and will feature elements of co-creation and co-design led by artists in collaboration with local groups.

Redesigned welcome area

Our redesigned layout will include a new entrance to the main exhibition spaces, giving audiences a much clearer entrance to our major exhibitions in the upstairs galleries. We are also moving our Shop up to the front of our main entrance on Pembroke Street. The Shop will continue to stock products from local designers and makers, exclusive merchandise and artist editions, as well as being home to a new welcome desk so all visitors can orient themselves in the space upon arrival.

New ground floor gallery

Based on our community consultation, we recognised a huge need for more space for our  participation work with local communities. This new gallery, which will be positioned where the Shop is now, will be a permanent home for changing displays, programmed with and showcasing the creative activities of our local communities, as well as curated archive material sharing the story of Modern Art Oxford’s rich history and innovative digital programme.

An expanded Creative Space

Our current Creative Space on the ground floor has played host to exhibitions, events, family activities and more. The ever expanding programme of projects and workshops with local communities has informed a new creative space which will be home to our regular projects Make Play and Young Creatives, as well as new creative studio sessions, workshops, short courses, evening classes and more

Our new artist-designed café

Brightly coloured spots with white hands in them are spattered across a black background. The hands wave, point, or give a thumbs up to the viewer.
Emma Hart, ‘Club Together’, 2023. Courtesy of the artist.

Designed by acclaimed British artist Emma Hart, our new café will be a truly unique destination. Returning to the lower-ground floor, the café will be based on the celebratory concept Club Together, inspired by raves and other spaces where people come together for enjoyment and self-expression. Hart’s furniture in the café is inspired by dancing “hands in the air” which morph into seating, and tables that evoke disco lights throwing pools of coloured light onto the floor.

Modern Art Oxford would like to thank the many individuals, trusts and foundations whose generous support has made the transformational refurbishment of our ground and lower-ground public areas possible.

A series of logos reading: The Wolfson Foundation, CHK Foundation, Garfield Weston Foundation, The Staples Trust, Arts Council England.

Trusts and Foundations
Arts Council England Capital Investment Funding
CHK Foundation
Charina Endowment Fund
Garfield Weston Foundation
The Lovington Foundation
Staples Trust
Wolfson Foundation

Leadership Donations
Jill Hackel and Andrzej Zarzycki
Béatrice and James Lupton
Anna Yang and Joseph Schull
Dasha Shenkman OBE

Major Gifts
Heidi and Carlo Baravalle
Domingo and Jenny Garcia
Russell and Jill Platt

And all those who would like to remain anonymous.

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