At the beginning of June 2018 we saw the official opening of Gallery FRANK.
On the evening guests packed into the newly refurbished gallery space to share a glass of bubbly in celebration of the unveiling and to hear welcoming speeches from special guests.
Kara Lyons, Chair of Ebor Studio Group who hosted the event, welcomed guests and gave a brief history of Ebor Mill since its inception around about 1870. She described exciting new developments at Ebor Studio including the opening of the first annual programme of cultural events. Programme Manager Martha Haywood thanked all those involved including all 14 resident professional artists and designers at Ebor Studio. Paul Haywood explained the significance of the name of the gallery – dedicated to Frank Haywood who was a great patron of the Ebor Project.
Councillor Janet Emsley and Professor David Crow officiated at the unveiling; Councillor Emsley talked about the important contribution local arts organisations such as Ebor Studio make to the community and their role in the advocacy of Rochdale’s cultural achievements to the wider region. Professor Crow, Graphic designer and Head of Chelsea, Wimbledon and Camberwell Schools of Art, explained how he himself grew up in a textile town in Scotland which had no art facilities and he was therefore acutely aware of the importance of the arts for young people’s aspiration.
The evening also served as the preview of the first Gallery FRANK exhibition: a heritage exhibition about Ebor Mill where the Gallery is based. Ebor worked with Touchstones Local History Museum to find information and documentation for the exhibition including many historical articles from the Rochdale Observer. The exhibition also included objects retrieved from the building, new artefacts produced by Ebor Artists in response to the environment of the Mill and some generously gifted oral histories.
The refurbishment and programme was enabled with the support of Pennine Townships Committee, Crook Hill, Link for Life and Arts Council England.