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.


The Liverpool & Knowsley Book Art exhibition: Frankenstein 2018Liverpool and Knowsley Book Art Exhibition

Kirkby Gallery
17 September 2018 to 26 January 2019

Liverpool Book Art is delighted to present Frankenstein 2018, in partnership with Liverpool Central Library and Kirkby Gallery, Knowsley. The theme of the exhibition marks 200 years since the first edition of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus was published.

Frankenstein is a classic work for a variety of reasons. Not only is it arguably the very first work of science fiction, but it is also a core text of Gothic literature. Its themes of ambition and hubris, ethics and morality, responsibility for the consequence of one’s actions, free will and empathy have been important since the book was first published. They also appear hugely relevant today, whether considering genetic manipulation and synthetic biology, artificial intelligence and machine learning, or Silicon Valley’s ‘disruptive technologies’. This is reflected in recent television series such as Humans.

Book artists from around the world have responded to Frankenstein with a hugely creative range of ideas. Some have been stimulated by the themes in the book; others have been inspired by the way the story is told; others have made links between Frankenstein and other classic stories such as Dracula and The Golem.

Some of the works have been made in small editions; some are unique works. Many of them are available to buy. New works will be on show in Kirkby Gallery by invited artists and by Knowsley residents in response to seeing the exhibition in Liverpool.

Download exhibition flyer

Byron’s Bear exhibition at Kirkby Gallery

Kirkby Gallery
17 September 2018 to 26 January 2019

Steve Talbot’s unique exhibition Byron’s Bears & Other Fables supports The Liverpool & Knowsley Book Art exhibition: Frankenstein 2018 which is currently on display at Kirkby Gallery.

Steve Talbot welcomes a new way of thinking about boxes and has said he has always had a fascination with them, particularly the kind his gifts and toys were packaged in as a child. He describes how boxes serve a purpose most us take for granted and don’t think twice about; preserving and protecting our beloved objects.

Like the Frankenstein 2018 exhibition which is inspired by the legendary Mary Shelley novel, much of the work in Steve’s ‘Byron’s Bears’ is inspired by literature. The interaction of literature and art will always encourage questions about interpretation, influence and originality – if you take a visit, remember to think ‘outside of the box’!

The exhibition also features work with a historical element from when it was created, particularly the 18th and 19th century. The pieces of art include illustrations of literary works, memorial boxes to writers and souvenirs of a certain time.

The boxes and other collections Steve keeps are presented as treasured collections and fossils of memories – see them for yourself at Kirkby Gallery now.

If you haven’t heard about ‘The Liverpool and Knowsley Book Art Exhibition’, inspired by Frankenstein which Kirkby Gallery is also home to, read about it here.

Drawing workshops

Interested in taking up a new hobby or improving your art abilities? With the upcoming drawing workshops in Kirkby, you can participate in varied drawing exercises, and learn a range of tips and techniques to inspire you with your own creative fun at home.

Thanks to fundraising by Friends of Kirkby Gallery and Prescot Museum, these classes are available for anyone including groups from schools, colleges, and art/community groups. If you want to take part with the rest of your family, you can take part in a dedicated workshop on Saturday 15 December.

Workshops take place with local artist Gill Cowley at Kirkby Gallery on the following dates in December:

  • Thursday 13 December, 10am to 11.30am and 1pm to 2.30pm

  • Friday 14 December, 10am to 11.30am and 1pm to 2.30pm

  • Saturday 15 December, 10.30am to 12.30pm (just for families)

  • Monday 17 December, 10am to 11.30am and 1pm to 2.30pm

  • Tuesday 18 December, 10am to 11.30am and 1pm to 2.30pm

  • Wednesday 19 December, 10am to 11.30am and 1pm to 2.30pm

You can book your place, or your group’s place, by emailing tina.ball@knowsley.gov.uk or call 0151 443 5617/4936

When you’ve created your work of art, you have the opportunity to enter it in the Open Art Exhibition, a showcase of brilliant visual art created by the talented people of Knowsley.


18th Knowsley Open Art Exhibition

Kirkby Gallery
Monday 11 February to Saturday 4 May 2019

The Knowsley Open annually showcases visual art created by artists 18 years old or over who live, work, volunteer or study in the borough of Knowsley.

The Young Artists Open is for artists under 18 years old and celebrates and presents the work of young and emerging creatives. Look out for the coloured artwork labels which indicate the young artists in the exhibition.

This year, an 'Open Affordable Art Auction' is being held at the end of the exhibition. This is a fundraising event with proceeds from the auction being donated to the 'Friends of Kirkby Gallery and Prescot Museum' group. Adam Partridge (Flog It, Bargain Hunt and Cash in the Attic) will be the celebrity auctioneer!

In an auction, a commission fee is normally paid to the auction house. For the Open Affordable Art Auction, the commission will go to our charitable fund, the Friends of Kirkby Gallery & Prescot Museum. The commission will be a percentage of the final sale price - so whatever a buyer bids, that will be the price they pay.

The Friends of Kirkby Gallery & Prescot Museum gives those with an interest in the arts the opportunity to support the purchase of new works for the collection and further develop the offer of both Kirkby Gallery and Prescot Museum whilst enjoying the benefits of its service.

The auction is onThursday 9 May 2019 from 5pm to 8pm at Kirkby Gallery.

Refreshments will be provided along with free parking. This is an RSVP event only - please let the galleries team know if you would like to attend by emailing galleries@knowsley.gov.uk or calling 0151 443 5617.

Read more about the exhibition and enter.

Children's drawing and sculpture classes

Kirkby Gallery

child drawing with a pencilSaturdays, 10.30am - 12.30pm

These fun and creative courses provide fun and structured introductions to drawings and sculpture using a wide range of media and methods.

The gallery's friendly tutors will demonstrate a new task each week and will be on hand to answer any questions, and provide support and guidance. The tutors will encourage children to look at things in a selective way and improve their skills to record their observations.

These workshops are suitable for children aged eight to 13.

Drawing courses are £30 per child and sculpture courses are £40 which is payable at the first of the eight workshops.
The cost includes all of the materials the children need and entry into the annual Knowsley Open Art Exhibition, should they wish to enter. This could be their first experience of a public exhibition.

There is a rolling programme of art courses so get in touch to find out the upcoming dates and to book.

To enquire or book, please contact Tina Ball on tina.ball@knowsley.gov.uk or call 443 5617

Opening tim​es

Kirkby Gallery is open Monday to Friday from 9am – 5pm. 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.