Best way to spend Valentine’s Day 2015? At the Whitworth, of course

Susie Stubbs

Manchester’s gallery in the park has just announced its plans for a reopening weekend of art, music and an after party – starting on 14 February.

Those of you who know Creative Tourist well will know that we’ve been keeping a close eye on the Whitworth. We’ve been watching the gallery’s £15 million transformation with interest, looking on as the Edwardian gaff has doubled in size, thanks to two new glass wings and the peeling back of the building’s historic layers. And we’re happy to report that not only is the Whitworth on track for its Valentine reopening, but it’s also headed for a whole weekend of art, music, fire, performance and, of course, an after party.

A whole weekend of art, music, fire, performance and, of course, an after party

So, what will be happening? The Whitworth flings open its doors on Saturday 14 February and, throughout that first day, as the wide-eyed visitors pick their way through a new art garden, landscape gallery and no less than ten opening exhibitions, the gallery promises everything from an in-conversation event with Cornelia Parker (who has created new work for the opening) to Northern Brass’s concert for kids, a music/video mash-up from Video Jam and a session with the celebrated author, Jeanette Winterson (if you missed the latter’s recent Radio 4 series on Manchester, by the way, it’s still available on iPlayer).

This being the Whitworth, there’s also that after party we mentioned – headed up by Dave Haslam and running until the wee small hours (the dancing is free but tickets are essential and, we are told, in short supply; book here).

The fun continues, possibly with a banging head, on Sunday 15 February. We particularly like the look of the tour from landscape designer, Sarah Price (the Chelsea gold medalist who designed the art garden) and the weekend’s final event, a new music premiere – called Whitworth Letters – from the Manchester Camerata. But, to be honest, we will mostly be spending Valentine’s weekend wandering around Manchester’s newest art playground, a place we have long since loved, and a gallery that will, fingers crossed, be everything we hope it can be, and more.

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