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Lubaina Himid Le Rodeur: The Exchange 2016 © Lubaina Himid Courtesy of the artist and Hollybush Gardens, London.

The gal-dem guide to a summer of art in 2022

The only thing better than seeing the exhibition of the year is seeing it for half the price.

16 Jun

Many museums and galleries seem to showcase their most exciting exhibitions during the summer. And there’s nothing more thrilling than spending your weekend catching some of the latest shows in between sun-bathing sessions – until you check your bank balance, that is. It’s fair to say that being an art enthusiast doesn’t come cheap, especially when some exhibitions can cost almost £20 to attend at full price. 

But, thanks to Art Fund, you don’t need to break the bank this year. The charity is offering new customers a three-month trial of its National Art Pass for £15. Membership cardholders get free entry to hundreds of museums and galleries across the UK and 50% off major exhibitions. You can use your pass at many of the best-known art institutions in the country including the Tate, V&A and Hepworth Wakefield.

With that in mind, we’ve rounded up the best exhibitions taking place across the UK this summer so you can quench your thirst for culture. But, before you book your tickets and hotfoot it out the door, head here to grab your trial National Art Pass (and hurry this offer is only available until 30 June). 

Gateshead

Carolina Caycedo — Land of Friends

BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art

Carolina Caycedo is a British-Columbian environmental artist based in Los Angeles. Her first major survey in Europe invites exhibition-goers to discover how Carolina uses her multimedia art as a form of activism. Her vast, often brightly coloured works explore the social, political and environmental impact of water (especially rivers) – from access to clean water to intensive fishing. 

Until 29 January, 2023. BALTIC is free to all. Get 10% off in the shop with National Art Pass.

©Caroline Caycedo – Land of Friends, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Arts

Birmingham

Blacklash: Racism and the Struggle for Self-Defence 

Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery

Since the mid-80s, artist Mukhtar Dar has been documenting the struggles of Asian and African-Caribbean communities across the UK’s major cities. This exhibition lifts the lid on Mukhtar’s extensive archive, featuring photographs, videos and political artefacts that bear witness to street and state racism.

Until 30 October, 2022. Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery is free to all. Get 50% off paid exhibitions and 10% off in the café with National Art Pass

London

The Show Is Over

South London Gallery

Put together by renowned South African artist, educator and curator Gabi Ngcobo, The Show Is Over brings together the works of around fourteen international artists who all take a personal approach to global politics. The exhibition explores the afterlife of historical colonial violence and the shifting concept of ‘the end of the world’.

24 June – 4 September, 2022. South London Gallery is free to all. Get 10% off in the shop with National Art Pass.

London

Lubaina Himid 

Tate Modern 

A key member of the 1980s Black Art movement and a Turner Prize-winner, Lubaina Himid is one of the most influential British artists alive today. The Tate exhibition includes brand new pieces, as well as a selection of highlights from earlier in the artist’s career. Its staging draws inspiration from Lubaina’s theatrical background, taking visitors centre stage and behind the scenes of her art. 

Until 2 October, 2022. Get 50% off Tate Modern exhibitions with National Art Pass.

Lubaina Himid, Man in A Shirt Drawer (2017-18), Tate, ⒸLubaina Himid

Chichester

Glyn Philpot: Flesh and Spirit

Pallant House Gallery

Glyn Philpot was an early twentieth-century British painter and sculptor known for his portraits of actors, dancers, poets, and his friends and lovers. The exhibition focuses on the representation of his black sitters, conjuring up questions around identity and the depiction of black people at the time.

14 May – 23 October 2022. Get 50% off Pallant House exhibitions with National Art Pass.

Cambridge

Howardena Pindell: A New Language 

Kettle’s Yard

American contemporary artist Howardena Pindell is best known for her abstract, textured pieces that explore pressing social issues. An act of deconstruction and reconstruction, Howardena’s colourful artworks build up layers of cut-up canvas, paper and paint, as well as more unexpected materials like hair, perfume, glitter, thread and sequins. The show will explore Howardena’s decades-long career across a number of works. 

2 July – 30 October, 2022. Kettle’s Yard is free to all. Get 10% off in the shop with National Art Pass.

Bristol

A Movement Not A Moment: Mural by Jasmine Thompson.

Bristol Museum & Art Gallery

Bristol-based artist Jasmine Thompson was commissioned to create a new artwork for the front hall of the city’s Museum & Art Gallery. Her mural, A Movement Not A Moment, explores how people have come together across the UK (and beyond) to provoke substantial cultural, political and institutional change. See if you can spot the likes of Marsha P Johnson, Tarana Burke and Colin Kaepernick in the illustrated Bristol street scene.

Jasmine Thompson's A Movement Not a Moment: Mural at Bristol Museum
Jasmine Thompson, A Movement Not A Moment: Mural, Bristol Museum

Until 26 June, 2022. Bristol Museum & Art Gallery is free to all. Get 50% off paid exhibitions and 10% off in the shop with National Art Pass.

Gal-dem has teamed up with National Art Pass to showcase the museums, galleries and exhibitions you can visit for less with a 3-month trial membership.

Try a trial National Art Pass for just £15 and enjoy free entry to hundreds of museums and 50% off major exhibitions across the UK.

You can even add a ‘plus one’ to your trial membership for FREE so you can bring along a friend. Use exclusive code GALDEM at checkout, but hurry – you can only get a trial pass until 30 June!