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Camden Arts Centre celebrates 50 years with lecture series starting at Camden Town Hall


50 years ago Camden started out on its journey to become the amazing Borough it is today. One of those changes which still holds huge importance today was the transformation of the original library building to become ‘Hampstead Arts Centre’ and then Camden Arts Centre in 1967. This was done so as to provide the local community with classes in painting, life drawing, pottery, printing and basic design. The building’s integral qualities of simplicity, space and light were ideal for the showing of art and the first exhibition was held a year after the Centre was established. Inevitably, the site soon became a focal point for artists living locally.

Since the sixties, the artistic and education programmes at Camden Arts Centre have developed dramatically. Director Jenni Lomax OBE joined Camden Arts Centre in 1990. In the 1970s, Lomax was part of the curatorial team assembled by Nicholas Serotaat the Whitechapel Art Gallery. Since then the Centre has established an internationally acclaimed programme of exhibitions, residencies, artists’ projects and public events. She led the organisation through a major building refurbishment scheme which was completed in early 2004 by Tony Fretton Architects.

1 - Silke Otto-Knapp at Camden Art Center London - 14.02.2014 copia
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To celebrate the Borough and Camden Arts Centre’s joint 50th birthday, we are happy to be hosting the first in a brilliant talks programme from Camden Arts Centre about their 50 years.

On Tuesday 22nd September Camden Arts Centre will be hosting a discussion between Sir Nicholas Serota, Director at TATE, and artist Jeremy Deller at Camden’s Town Hall. The speakers will consider how the establishment of public institutions such as Camden Arts Centre, Arnolfini and Modern Art Oxford (that were all built in the 1960’s) brought art to the people. They will discuss the opportunities offered by these spaces and the challenges they now face to remain open and accessible in the changing landscape of today’s art world.

Camden Arts Centre is situated at the corner of Arkwright and Finchley Road, NW3 in a Grade II listed premises originally constructed as Hampstead Central Library in 1897 by architect Arnold Taylor. The library grew in size and was extended in the 1920s, however by 1964 a new facility opened in Swiss Cottage which was better able to cope with the demands of the modern library service and all stock was transferred to it.

Join Camden Arts Centre and speakers Sir Nicholas Serota and artist Jeremy Deller as the discuss the history and legacy of the 1960s public institution. Book here!