Exhibitions

We aim to really show off what incredible artistic talent Manchester has. We have an abundance of artists here from students, to professionals, hobbyists and everything in between. That’s why we host an array of exhibitions, to showcase the diverse talent the artists here have. We aim to create a level playing field, giving everyone a chance to show their work to huge audiences, whether they’ve been to art school or not. From open calls to solo exhibitions, from established galleries to empty units, our exhibitions have it all.

Previous Exhibitions

‘In Manchester’ at Saul Hay Gallery, April-May 2021

In Spring 2021, we hosted our first stand-alone exhibition. Following a successful open call, we exhibited over 70 Greater Manchester artists in our ‘In Manchester’ exhibition. Launched to the public on Saturday 24th April to Monday 3rd May at the amazing Saul Hay Gallery, ‘In Manchester’ was all about showing everyone the talent on offer ‘in Manchester.’

When curating this exhibition we wanted to make sure we had a huge mix of artists, from hobbyists, students, graduates, amateurs, and professionals alike. One of our key values at Cotton On MCR is to show that art can be for everyone, and this exhibition really embodied that. We had paintings, photography, sculptures, textiles, and drawings from artists such as Sam Owen Hull, Stefanie Trow, Carlos Ferg and Jason Carr, to name a few. It’s cliché, but in this exhibition, there really was something for everyone (I’m sorry, I had to say it!)

‘In Manchester’ was the first re-opening exhibition at Saul Hay Gallery, which had to close its doors following the 3rd national lockdown. Together, we wanted to show that galleries are open to all, and aren’t always this ridiculous, elitist space. By making sure that ‘In Manchester’ had a mix of all types of artists, we put everyone on the same level playing field. It doesn’t matter if you have been making art for 10 years or 10 minutes, if your work is good – it’s good! Manchester has some amazing and wonderful artists, and this exhibition was our way of showing the public a snippet of the incredible talent we have here in Greater Manchester.

Overall, the exhibition was a great success. Numerous works sold here in Manchester, as well as one piece selling to someone in New York! We couldn’t have asked for a better first exhibition.

Carlos Ferg Solo Exhibition (Part of the Cotton On MCR Art All Dayer) at Halle St Peters, 14th August 2021

As part of our Art All Dayer in August 2021, we had a solo pop-up exhibition by artist Carlos Ferg, who was the winner of best piece at the ‘In Manchester’ exhibition. Carlos Ferg is a Spanish artist who has lived in Manchester for nine years, where he has a professional studio at Awol Studios, Manchester, UK.

Carlos’ practice combines traditional and contemporary methods to create dark yet vivid figurative works of art, often taking inspiration from various literature and symbolism throughout history. This exhibition included a selection of Carlos’ finest works, stood against a stunning backdrop of the Victoria Wood Hall interiors at Hallé St Peter’s.

This was our first Art All Dayer event, which attracted over 700 visitors throughout the day. It was even more successful than we’d ever hoped, and the perfect event to showcase Manchester’s best creatives!

‘Manc of the Year’ Solo Exhibition by Rachael Addis (Part of the Art All Dayer: Winter Edition) at Halle St Peters, 20th November 2021

As part of the Winter Edition of the Art All Dayer in November 2021, we displayed the work of Manchester based artist Rachael Addis. Rachael won our ‘Manc of The Year’ competition, chosen from a selection of our ‘Manc of the Month’ artists from across 2021.

Rachael is a painter who makes works mainly inspired by nature and landscapes, using a variety of brushstrokes and textures to create intricate, abstract artworks. In the setting of the Victoria Wood Hall, Rachael’s contemporary and uplifting works brought the room to life, with a wide range of works from her bigger circular works to smaller prints – some of which sold! Rachael also hosted a series of art talks throughout the day, interacting with the audience and giving more of an insight to her practice.

We were so pleased at the turn out of our second event, and it was great to show how varied the Manchester art scene really is. From the traditional, figurative work of Carlos Ferg to the abstract and vibrant works of Rachael Addis – we’re so proud to be able to show the variety of art that Greater Manchester has to offer!