Opposite Bristol Law Society’s premises at the Law Library in Small Street stands the old Guildhall and Assize Courts, which have lain dormant and out of the public eye for some years. But not any more.
The magnificent old Guildhall and Assize Courts is currently being turned into a community Arts Centre and a unique event venue whilst planning is underway to transform the historic building a luxury 5* hotel.
The fabulous 40,000 sq ft, gothic Guildhall building is home to eleven magistrates courts, judges’ rooms, statues, stained glass windows, prison cells, over 200 rooms and several square miles of corridor space. It has been unoccupied for several years, but will soon be filled with paintings, sculpture, art, music and drama workshops and a series of high profile art exhibitions, including one of the largest ever art exhibitions in the West, national painting and photographic exhibitions, VIP event previews and a Christmas charity arts auction.
The Guildhall Arts Centre will open on 22nd June, with a VIP event preview on Friday 21st June.
Future events lined up for the Guildhall include:-
─Inspired! – Probably the largest art exhibition in the West – an exhibition of over 600 paintings, sculptures and works of art, opening 22nd June 2013, with major private view launch party on 21st June.
─The Bristol Art Prize – known as Britain’s most enjoyable painting competition. The event has run successfully in the World Heritage city of Bath for the last four years and is now coming to Bristol. The national competition invites artists from across Britain and beyond to paint all areas of Bristol this summer, resulting in a major exhibition of hundreds of paintings of Bristol at The Guildhall Arts Centre from September-December 2013.
─Bristol – The Bigger Picture – featuring 10 invited artists painting super-size paintings of Bristol at the Guildhall over the next six months, resulting in unique images of the city.
─24 Hours in Bristol – a national photographic competition inviting amateur and professional photographers from around the world to photograph Bristol on a specific day this summer, creating a unique portrait of life in the city. An exhibition of the winning photographs will be held from September-December 2013, with a book featuring the best photographs planned for publication for Christmas.
(Photos by Alan Russell)