Manchester Art Gallery

Public workshops

Check out our film about Therapeutic Thursday: an evening of creative wellbeing at Manchester Art Gallery.

Art, helping you stay healthy

There’s something on every week at the gallery to help you cultivate good mental health and wellbeing.

We all have mental health; sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s not so good. Like when we’re stressed or busy many of us neglect to actively look after our mental health. Good health and wellbeing is cultivated over time and with regular care. And it doesn’t have to be life-changing or time-consuming, small changes can make a big difference. Come to our beautiful galleries and cultivate wellbeing with us.

Manchester Art Gallery is a place where you can go to look after your mental health. Yes, you. All of us.


And Breathe. . .

Opens 16 March 2018

10 – 5pm

And Breathe… is a year long exhibition of artworks from Manchester Art Gallery’s collection that has been co-curated with a community mental health group and a primary school class to explore the relationship between art, positive mental health and wellbeing. The groups and gallery staff worked together last year in a series of mindfulness sessions in the gallery’s art stores and have developed an exhibition designed to encourage people to slow down, connect with art and themselves to enhance their wellbeing.  The exhibition mixes the historic with the contemporary, moving from 19th century seascapes, to more abstract, surreal and modernist works and contemporary photographic pieces by a diverse range of artists including Ben Nicholson, Peter Lanyon, Catherine Yass and Marcus Coates.  The colour scheme, seating, height of art works and interpretation have all been developed to encourage people to relax and spend time in the space and a special audio resource with a range of timed mindful meditations will be available.  The exhibition will take a seasonal approach with works by Yves Tanguy, Gwen John and Barbara Hepworth included from November 2018.

The exhibition is part of the gallery’s wider Mindful Museum campaign that aims to raise awareness and promote understanding of how mindfulness can be used within the cultural sector to improve good mental health and wellbeing.

Take notice: de-stress with art

First and third Tuesday of the month

12:15 – 12.45pm and 1 – 1:30pm

Free, no need to book

And breathe… Sit and look at one work of art for 30 minutes. Sit back and let our health and wellbeing manager guide you in exploring artworks using mindfulness.


Mindful marks

Second Tuesday of the month

12 – 2pm

Free, drop in

De-stress and draw with artist Naomi Kendrick. Find your flow as you mark-make to music inspired by art on display.

The art of wellbeing tour

Last Saturday of every month

12.30 – 1.15pm

Free, no need to book

A traditional guided tour with a wellbeing twist. Learn about the Five Ways to Wellbeing through a guided tour of our artworks.

The Five Ways to Wellbeing are a set of evidence-based actions which promote people’s wellbeing. They are: Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Keep Learning and Give. These activities are simple things individuals can do in their everyday lives

This guided tour will discuss five artworks that illustrate each of the Five Ways.

Keep up to date

Twitter: @MAGlearning

Instagram: @mcrartgallery

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