Kirkby Gallery (free admittance) is one of the best contemporary art galleries in Merseyside and the North West of England.  The gallery presents a broad and ambitious programme of exhibitions, which draws upon collections from the Arts Council Collection, Hayward Touring, National Trust and multiple regional partner and galleries.  Knowsley’s Annual Open Exhibitions, schools, and community arts projects are additionally core to much of what the gallery offers also, along with a varied offer of art courses. Knowsley Council also works in partnership with other arts agencies to deliver exhibitions such as Liverpool Biennial and pan-Merseyside projects, as part of the City Region.


Approaching Thunder
29 January  - 28 April 2018
Kirkby GalleryFour Grey Sleepers, Herny Moore, 1941

Kirkby Gallery is delighted to present Approaching Thunder, as the first gallery on its national tour.
This exhibition draws from The Hepworth Wakefield’s outstanding collection of 1940s British works on paper, revisiting a decade of anxiety, austerity and idealism that resonates strongly with our lives today. With materials strictly rationed and the art market in crisis, leading artists such as John Piper, Graham Sutherland and Edward Bawden turned to the inexpensive medium of paper.

Although a substantial number of works in the show were produced under the patronage of Kenneth Clark’s War Artists Advisory Committee, these images are in marked contrast to the idealised state propaganda embodied in the art of Nazi Germany. Though government-regulated, the works exhibited here convey individual and subjective experience, exploring ordinary lives under extraordinary shared circumstances. Figures are lost in thought or absorbed in their labours; intricately described landscapes reveal devastation but also the lingering vitality of the natural world. Perhaps reflecting this move to a renewed social engagement, public interest in modern art soared across the country.

A small group of Henry Moore’s shelter drawings form a particular highlight, while a selection of illustrated books show modernist artists using low-cost lithography to circulate their work across a broad social spectrum.

Download Approaching Thunder exhibition flyer.

Children's Drawing and Sculpture Classes at Kirkby Gallery
child drawing with a pencilSaturdays, 10.30am-12.30pm

Kirkby Gallery's fun and creative courses provide fun and scructured introductions to drawing and sculpture using a wide range of media and methods. The classes will encourage the children to look at things in a selective way and improve skills to record their observations. Friendly tutors will demonstrate a new task each week and will be on hand to provide support and guidance.

The course lasts for eight weeks and are suitable for young people aged eight to 13.

Drawing courses cost £30 and sculpture courses cost £40. The price is payable at the first workshop and it includes all materials and entry into the annual Knowsley Open Art Exhibition if your child wishes to submit their work. 

To check when the next course starts, contact Tina Ball on tina.ball@knowsley.gov.uk or call 443 5617

Art classes at Kirkby Gallery
woman standing in front of an artist's easelWednesdays & Saturdays, 10.30am-12.30pm

Do you enjoy drawing and painting?
Would you like to take it up as a new hobby or improve your artistic skills?

These tutor-led series of drawing and watercolour painting courses for adults are suitable for all abilities, from absolute beginners to those with advanced skills. Due to popular demand, Kirkby Gallery in partnership with Knowsley FACE, are extending the number of arts based workshops on offer.

The courses (8 workshops in each course) provide a structured introduction to drawing and watercolour painting using a wide range of media and methods and encourages you to look at things in a selective way, giving you the skills to record your observations. Our friendly tutor will demonstrate a new task each week and be on hand to answer questions and provide support and guidance.

Places are limited, so booking is essential. 

All you need to bring is your own basic art materials – paper, paints, pencils etc.

There is a venue administration fee of £35 per course (payable at the first workshop).

New courses start mid September, please get in touch for more details and to book.
Please contact Tina Ball: tina.ball@knowsley.gov.uk / 0151 443 5617 to book on.

Opening tim​es

Kirkby Gallery is open Monday to Friday from 9am – 5pm (closed for lunch between 12.30 - 1pm). On Saturdays is it open 10am – 1pm. 

You will find it on the first floor of The Kirkby Centre, Norwich Way, Kirkby, Knowsley, L32 8XY.

Huyton Gallery is open Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays from 10am – 5pm, closed on Wednesdays, open Thursdays from 10am –1pm and Saturdays 10am – 1pm.

You will find it within Huyton Library, on Civic Way, Huyton, L36 9GD.