Middlesbrough Art Weekender or MAW21 for short, reimagines Middlesbrough’s industrial past through a town takeover. From Thursday 30th September to Sunday 3rd October MAW invites you to come and experience exhibitions, performances, workshops, talks and much more over four days of exciting and immersive experiences.

All events are based in Middlesbrough town centre and are free, family-friendly and accessible.

Keep reading for Enjoy Tees Valley’s top picks of what to look out for at Middlesbrough Art Weekender this year!

1.Enviro Bikes

Ever wondered what the environment around Middlesbrough was trying to tell you?  Grab an Enviro Bike and start pedalling to find out.

These bicycles make sound through live sonification of air pollution as you travel around, mapping important environmental information and translating it into a soundtrack. Riders can listen to the music live, inviting them to engage in their passing environment.

Give it a go at Middlesbrough Centre Square from 10am-4pm on Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd October and 12pm-4pm on Sunday 3rd.

2.MdZ Estate Installation

Jimmy Cauty’s immersive and thought-provoking installation, consisting of four concrete tower blocks at 1:24 scale placed inside a darkened smoky shipping container, will give viewers an amusing and unsettling dystopian model village experience.

Head to Centre Square from 10am-4pm on Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd October and 12pm-4pm on Sunday 3rd.

3. Is it Magma?

Jo Lathwood is a sculptor and installation artist whose practice focuses on materials and process. You will be mesmerised as Jo turns rock into lava in a live smelting performance piece at Centre Square on Saturday 2nd from 1pm-2:30pm.

4. Creative Workshops with Things on Wheels

Enjoy a whole host of workshops at Middlesbrough Town Hall. Suitable for all ages, Things on Wheels invites you to drop in and let your creativity flow.  Centre Square 12pm -3pm, 2nd October.

5. Recent Graduate Award – Colour Nature Structure Emotion

Artists: Amy Heald / Charlie Love / Evelyn Rodgers / Catherine Grainger

Exhibition/Work Blurb: This year’s New Graduate Award showcases work by students from Northern School of Art and MIMA School of Art & Design at Teesside University. In collaboration with each art school and MIMA the award supports newly graduating artists in exhibiting and making new work. Designed to support them in transitioning from student to working artist, the award is an opportunity to exhibit alongside the MAW programme and an opportunity to engage with informal mentoring from MIMA, MAW and curator Chris Clarke of the Glucksman Museum, Ireland.

Location: 49A Wilson Street, Middlesbrough, TS1 1SA

Opening Times: Thurs 6pm – 8pm, Fri/Sat 10am – 4pm, Sun 12am – 4pm

6. Material Sight

Fiona Crisp’s installation takes us deep underground into world-leading research facilities, including Cleveland’s own Boulby Mine where knowledge beyond our human scope is pursued.

These places mark the frontiers of scientific knowledge, yet the facilities themselves are inaccessible to the public, being deep underground. Here, Crisp attempts to place us within these spaces. The sound, scaffolding, screens and steel benches offer an immersive experience, acting as what she calls “sculptural apparatus”.

Within this, her photographs and films become strange, highly charged material objects, not merely images.


Location: 36 Albert Road, Middlesbrough, TS1 1QD

Opening Times: Thurs 6pm – 9pm, Fri 10am – 4pm, Sat 10am -4pm, Sun 12pm – 4pm

7.Gordon Matta Clark

In the 70’s, infamous New York artist Gordon Matta Clark cut buildings in half and carved sections out of warehouses. From these, his astounding ‘building cuts,’ come his iconic pieces ‘Splitting’ (1974) and ‘Days End’ (1975). Here, the artist cuts into and visualises the values that defined the spaces’ lack of usability. MAW21 is delighted to premier new editions of both works.

Location: 32 Albert Road, Middlesbrough, TS1 1QD

Opening Time: Thursday 6pm – 9pm, Fri/Sat 10am – 4pm, Sun 12pm – 4pm

This year MAW21 coincides with Orange Pip Market and Middlesbrough Pride. With so much to do, it is set to be one of the most vibrant and lively weekends of the year – you won’t want to miss it!

Some events will be free but ticketed and so keep an eye on the website Middlesbrough Art Weekender – | Cultural Arts Festival or follow the festival on social media.

See you there!

For more things happening in the Tees Valley check out the What’s on page.


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