Arts in Newcastle

There is a great variety of art and culture in Newcastle Upon Tyne and the North East, from traditional arts and crafts to modern, digital and multimedia art. Many galleries and exhibition spaces offer free entry, exhibitions and events. Some galleries have cafes, community spaces and offer guided tours.

Art Galleries and exhibition spaces

The Biscuit Factory

The Biscuit Factory is Britain’s biggest original art store. They sell paintings, drawings, sculptures, prints, photography, ceramics and glass by artists from all over the world. The displays are constantly changing as work is sold. There is also a restaurant attached to the gallery. Admission is free.

Gallery North (at Northumbria University)

Gallery North is a large gallery on the site of Northumbria University, showcasing big international names as well as emerging home-grown talent; and cutting edge new art as well as exhibitions of a broader, more historical nature.

The Globe Gallery

The Globe Gallery is a contemporary arts organisation with artists and the community at its heart. Globe’s new base in a disused bank in Newcastle city centre. They host exhibitions and encourage participation from the community through workshops with artists. It is a uniquely vibrant art space providing great conditions for experiencing art and challenging audiences.

Hatton Gallery

The Hatton Gallery has a permanent art collection on display which includes paintings, sculptures, prints and drawings including the iconic Merz Barn Wall. It also hosts regular family activities, events, exhibitions and Newcastle University student’s work every year. Donations welcome, admission free.

High Bridge Works 

High Bridge Works is an art studio and gallery space in Newcastle, Newcastle Contemporary Art gallery is on the top floor of High bridge works.

Laing Art Gallery

The Laing Art Gallery houses an internationally important collection of art, focusing on British oil paintings, watercolours, ceramics, silver and glassware. It holds regularly changing exhibitions of historic, modern and contemporary art, and events including artist and curator talks and family activities. It has a café and gift shop. The children’s play area is currently closed. Donations welcome, admission free.  Admission charges may apply to some exhibitions.

Mushroom Works Gallery and Studios

The Mushroom works is an artist studio space that hosts regular exhibitions, workshops and classes that vary from jewellery making to life drawing.

Newcastle Arts Centre

The Newcastle Arts Centre houses a variety of exhibitions, pottery studio, classes, music events, dance classes and an arts and crafts shop. Their website also contains listings of all of the upcoming art exhibitions across the North East.

Northern Print

Northern Print is a studio, gallery and education space all dedicated to printmaking.  They support artists who make original prints in their professional practice as well as working with school groups and running a programme of classes and events for everyone.

The NewBridge Project

The NewBridge Project is an artist studio and gallery space, hosting a programme of exhibitions and events.

Side Gallery

The Side Gallery showcases documentary photography and there are talks and events organised around most of the exhibitions.

Shieldfield Art Works (SAW)

Shieldfield Art Works (SAW) is a community arts space and a project of the Methodist Church. They explore contemporary art, theological reflection and community activism. They have regular gallery exhibitions. They also run art and craft activities, discussions and meet ups over food.

Shipley Art Gallery

The Shipley Art Gallery has a range of art and design on show and has permanent collections including fine art, ceramics, wood, metal, glass, textiles and furniture. They also have a varied programme of temporary exhibitions and events suitable for all age groups. Admission is free.

Slugtown CIC

Slugtown is an artist run not-for-profit gallery based in Shieldfield, Newcastle upon Tyne.

Art Galleries and exhibition spaces nearby

BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art

BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art is a major international centre for contemporary art. BALTIC has no permanent collection, providing instead an ever-changing calendar of exhibitions and activities that give an insight into contemporary artistic practice. In addition to galleries, BALTIC houses a cinema, artist studios, Quay learning facility, library & Archive, shop, cafe and a rooftop restaurant with stunning views.

Admission to the BALTIC is free, and they run daily tours for the public at various times throughout the day.

The BALTIC also run Creative Age sessions every Monday from 10.30am to 12.30pm. These are friendly, creative and inclusive sessions for older adults exploring contemporary art in a dementia friendly environment. Contact Equal Arts for more information.

Links Art Gallery

The Links Art Gallery is an art gallery which stocks a wide range of quality art and craft with the emphasis on work by North East artists.

National Glass Centre

The National Glass Centre has a changing programme of glass exhibitions and you can watch artists at work. There is also a restaurant and a shop where you can purchase glass products. Admission to the National Glass Centre is free.

Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art

The Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art presents changing exhibitions of new work by artists from around the world. There is also a craft shop where you can purchase a wide range of goods including jewellery and ceramics. Admission is free.

Workplace Gallery

Workplace Gallery is a commercial gallery run by artists. It represents a growing portfolio of emerging and established artists through curatorial projects, the gallery programme and art fairs.

Arts and culture festivals

Curious Festival is a festival of LGBTQIA+ arts, music and culture across the North East ran by Curious Arts

Gem Arts Masala Festival is a week long festival celebrating South Asian Arts and Culture including performances, exhibitions, events, workshops and pop ups

Jesmond Community Festival celebrates the range of community arts, culture, music, activities and heritage in Jesmond. It often includes arts and crafts, music, food, dance, photography and more

NOVUM festival is a multi artform summer festival with local, national, and international art, music, performances and installations. Novum is based at the Civic centre and nearby venues

The Late Shows is a 2 day evening ‘culture crawl’ with events across Newcastle and Gateshead. During The Late Shows, museums, galleries, studio collectives and landmark historical buildings come together to offer one-off events including hands-on workshops, behind-the-scenes tours, performances and parties.

Arts development in Newcastle

Arts development Team at Newcastle City Council

The Arts Development Team at Newcastle City Council develop arts and creative practice across the city for all ages and all art forms. The arts development team supports arts in Newcastle through artist residencies, community creative programmes, networking, funds and grants.

Creative Central NCL is a project supporting independent artists, creative professionals and cultural organisations through networking, events, funding grants and commissioned projects. The project is focused on bringing creative art and artists to the centre of Newcastle, including the Newcastle CCZ.

Newcastle Cultural and Creative Zone (CCZ) is located in Newcastle city centre’s conservation area and is being developed into an area that provides creative opportunities, workspaces, studios, training and development for cultural and creative people and organisations.

D6 culture in transit is an artists studio and arts development space in Newcastle. They provide artist residencies, commission arts and culture projects and events as well as exhibitions of art works.

Helix Arts  brings together the public, voluntary and community organisations, private sector businesses and talented artists to co-produce and work together on creative arts programmes.

Community Arts organisations and projects

Arcadea offer art and creative activities at their HUB. They have a day service Monday to Friday and run a Youth Club on Wednesday evenings.

Chilli Studios provide creative based services for people with mental health problems, to promote social inclusion, encourage social interaction, build resilience, develop skills and ability, enable potential and improve wellbeing.

Curious Arts run projects and exhibitions for LGBTQ+ art and communities. They run arts community youth groups and lead Queer Arts North, a network of arts organisations supporting LGBTQ+ arts,.

Equal Arts provide arts and creative activities for older people and those living with dementia. They run Creative Age sessions for older adults exploring art in a dementia friendly environment and Henpower sessions in care homes which involve creative arts and hen keeping.

MotherOther  is an arts organisation and collective network made of  North East care givers and carers interested in the arts

Sew Sisters is a project by East End Women and Building Futures East offering women the chance to learn practical skills in sewing and dressmaking.

Slugtown runs SlugClub – a free monthly art club for young people in Shieldfield.

Tales in Sombre Tones CIC run community art projects and create accessible art

Threads in the ground run mushroom sculpt a sculpture project for schools and community groups using ‘mushroom plastic’ an eco friendly fungus material.

Tyne & Wear Archives and Museums run Multaka North East a project supporting people from asylum and migration backgrounds to create tour programmes, art, media and more about museum exhibitions and resources.

Women Artists of the North East Library -WANEL  is an arts library collection, a public programme of events and artist commissioning organisation for womens art in the north east.

Arts and crafts groups or workshops

St Martins Centre run regular and one off arts sessions and crafts workshops throughout the year

St Vincent’s centre run regular crafts groups and a men’s pie and poetry group.

Lifting Neighbourhoods Together have regular and one off arts groups, creative writing groups and craft workshops

Riverside Community Health Project have regular arts and craft workshops

Accessibility and support

AccessAble can help you to plan your trips to places like art galleries, museums, cinemas, theatres, railway stations, cafes and more. They visit and review the accessibility of places in Newcastle. Use their website to find wheelchair friendly venues, read more about facilities and disabled access available. Such as:

  • photos of the facilities
  • entrance to the building
  • accessible toilets or changing places
  • how easy it is to move around the venue
  • lifts
  • transport and parking
  • dementia friendly
  • quiet or safe space
  • sign language

Safe Places

Many of the local museums are known Safe Places. Where people with learning disabilities and autism can go to get help if they’re worried, have lost something, or just need reassurance from staff at the Safe Place. Safe Places will have a yellow sticker in the window or on the door. For more information about safe places please visit our article on learning disabilities and autism.

Last updated: April 10, 2024