Critical Mass – North West Visual Arts Open Preview


This Friday and Saturday (The 2nd and 3rd of March) sees the first ever North West Visual Arts Open take over some of the best venues in Liverpool for a multitude of showcases.  The first of its kind locally, the two day art extravaganza is said to be a wonderful opportunity to introduce people in the North West to strong local art as well as highlight international art on show at local venues, some well known, others less so.

Events are set include an array of talks, workshops and exhibitions around Liverpool at venues such as FACT, The Bluecoat, Tate Liverpool, Arena Gallery and The Royal Standard among others.  The events are free and are well worth a look if keen to delve deeper into the pond that is the art scene of Liverpool.

Highlights planned for the festival include the opening of Open Curate It; a three month set of events at FACT, a curator’s tour of the latest Charline von Heyl retrospective at Tate Liverpool (though tickets will need to be purchased for the exhibition itself), a private view of Topophobia; the latest exhibition at The Bluecoat, a private view of Acetate Steps at Arena Gallery and an after party at Elevator Bar with DJ set from Nick Power of The Coral.  It must be pointed that this is only the Friday with the Saturday holding a wealth of events too (all for free of course) including more events at The Bluecoat, Artist’s talks, gallery viewings and even more after hours soirées.

The event is set to be a landmark in free public art and any student under the impression that art is too expensive to enjoy should head down to any of these events for wonderful proof that art in Liverpool is alive, healthy and welcome to all.

Below is a full list of the weekend’s events.  For more information go to where information on individual events and venues is available in abundance.


Friday 2 March

FACT (The Box)

Seminar: Cracking the Curatorial

2 to 5 pm, FREE


Tate Liverpool

Curator tour: Charline von Heyl: Now or Else

3 pm, FREE (visitors are required to purchase an exhibition ticket, £7.20 / £5.40 concesions.)


The Bluecoat

Private view: Topophobia

6 to 8 pm, FREE


Arena Gallery

Private view: Acetate Steps

7 to 9 pm, FREE


Elevator Café & Bar

Aftershow party: includes DJ set by The Coral’s Nick Power.

9pm till midnight


Saturday 3 March

The Bluecoat

Bluecoat Open Studios

10 am to 6 pm, FREE


The Royal Standard

Artist talk: Oliver Braid

2 to 3 pm, FREE


The Bluecoat

Workshop: Reactor micro-projects (part of The Royal Standard Dialogues programme)

4 to 6 pm, FREE


Wolstenhome Creative Space

Closing party: Fixation

7 pm to midnight

Adam Scovell