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10 October 2015 - 7 February 2016


‘Localism’ is an ambitious project telling the story of art in Middlesbrough from its beginnings in 1829 to now. It takes a radical approach to exhibition making, inviting the public to help write the narrative with workshops that grow the show, adding to it as we go, thus creating an encyclopaedic family tree of creativity on Teesside.

It’s also more than just an exhibition as we join up people and places across the region to celebrate and debate our own cultural history and its impact on the wider world. Topics include Christopher Dresser and the Linthorpe Pottery, bridge building, the remarkable Boosbeck Industries in the 1930s and the existence of mima itself. In a thoroughly internationalised world, Localism restates the vitally important role of the local in the development of art and society.

Localism closing party

Join us on Sunday 7 February for our very special closing party. Come together to celebrate new friendships and stories told through our exhibition. Find out more about the event here.


Resident artists

Three resident artists, Adam Clarke, Emily Hesse and Dot Seddon, are working from The Workshop in the exhibition and will be offering regular drop-in sessions and courses, open to anyone who wants to get involved.

Clarke is initiator of New Boosbeck Industries, a project that revisits 1930s’ designs to establish a social enterprise around furniture making. Emily Hesse, along with James Beighton, have developed New Linthorpe, a Teesside-based exploration of contemporary and collaborative production that takes a cue from the nineteen century Linthorpe Pottery, and use clay dug from the same Middlesbrough seam. Dot Seddon has been working in and teaching textiles for over 30 years, including felt making, loom weaving, spinning, dyeing, and particularly tapestry weaving. Our young peoples’ group, The Wonder Whys, also meet in this space each Thursday, 5.00pm -7.00pm.

For more details on these sessions, please visit the Events section.


Get involved

Localism is an exhibition with a difference. We invite you – the public, to help write the narrative through workshops, talks and feedback sessions, adding to the show as we go along and helping to create a ‘family tree’ of creativity on Teesside.

There are a number of ways you can get involved and have your say on how you would like to see the exhibition evolve. See Talks section for more details.


Photos from Localism launch event, Saturday 10 October 2015:

Read more

Since July 2015, The Gazette has been working with Teesside University and mima to help tell the story of Middlesbrough’s cultural history. Read all of the articles here on their website.





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