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Thursday 28 April 2022

We’re looking forward to the next 50 years

On 29th April 1972, at the end of a week in which Apollo 16 had landed on the Moon, Orleans House Gallery was opened to the public. The first exhibition was of paintings from the Borough collection but the gallery was quick to focus on living artists. It soon became a hub for Richmond’s creative community and a place where local people would come to enjoy contemporary art in all its forms. 

With the support of Richmond upon Thames Borough council the Gallery has opened every week for 50 years, only closing with Lockdown in 2020. It has welcomed thousands of artists and millions of visitors to its exhibitions and outdoor spaces. The Gallery has often led thinking in participatory arts and always encouraged people to have a go for themselves. It stands for the idea that everyone can be an artist and aims to build community through creativity.  

One of the exciting things about a public art gallery is that once opened it takes on a life of its own. Like a garden or woodland it’s a dynamic thing. So OHG continues to reflect the lives and concerns of the people of Richmond. Art Unlocked, the first exhibition following Lockdown’s end in summer 2020, demonstrated how the Gallery helped a community share the ideas and values it holds dear.  

Over the next 50 years the Gallery will remain true to its foundation as a centre for the arts. It will show work by exciting new artists. With its community it will explore contemporary ideas, embracing new technologies and changing art practice. Above all it will be a place of fun and friendship. 

Click the button bellow to watch London Luminaries: Orleans House Gallery- The People’s Collection by Tim Corum.