Migration Study Day at Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art. Courtesy of photographer Michelle Maddison

Middlesbrough gallery to buy work at Frieze art fair

Simon Stephens, 23.06.2016
CAS provides £50,000 through its Collections Fund
The Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art will be able to buy a £50,000 work at October’s Frieze art fair through a partnership between the Contemporary Art Society (CAS) and Frieze London.

The CAS's Collections Fund was set up in 2012 and is designed to support the acquisition of contemporary works for the society’s 70 museum members across the UK. This year’s award was given to the Middlesbrough gallery after a competitive application process.

“As the political climate continues to change, regional museums are increasingly adapting to find new ways to work with artists, develop collections and connect with their audiences,” said Alistair Hudson, the director of the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art.

“We have been evolving a new institutional model that responds to the urgent issues around us, becoming an active agent within society.

“Recently, Middlesbrough has hit the headlines for having the highest number of asylum seekers in the country per head of population,” Hudson continued.

“But ours is a vibrant, complex, post-industrial region that was created by migrants and we view this story as an asset to inform and shape our culture and influence social change.”

Caroline Douglas, the director of the CAS, said: “Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art operates in a unique cultural environment and the members of the Collections Fund committee were impressed by the museum’s engagement with issues that resonate with the community it serves, such as migration and exile.”

The work acquired through the Collections Fund will be announced on 5 October at Frieze London.

Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, part of Teesside University, has a vision of itself as a “useful museum”, seeing itself as a civic institution that promotes art as a tool for social change.

This philosophy links well to Museums Change Lives, the Museums Association’s vision for the increased social impact of museums.