Bold artworks heading for Boro for Art Weekender

The countdown is on for the North-East’s biggest annual contemporary arts festival which takes place in venues across Middlesbrough from September 26-29.

Installation of a number of artworks and preparation of venues featuring in this year’s Middlesbrough Art Weekender (MAW19) has already begun, ahead of what organisers say is its biggest and most ambitious programme yet.

For its third outing, MAW is promising a ‘town takeover’, bringing a full programme of events, exhibitions, performances and screenings to venues across Middlesbrough town centre, including a giant inflatable sphere and a large black PVC bouncy castle which visitors can actively engage with.

Across the four days, visitors can interact with ADA, Karina Smigla-Bobinski’s huge interactive installation at Middlesbrough Town Hall, watch Warren Harrison’s acclaimed documentary The Creek about the lost community of Greatham Creek, at Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (mima), run amok in Tom Dale’s cartoonish Department of the Interior bouncy castle in Centre Square, see work from international, national and local established and emerging artists, get hands on with dye-making workshops and enjoy a host of other events.

Following on from last year’s theme of ‘connectivity’, the focus of the festival for 2019 is ‘autonomy’. Local, regional and international artists will present their work which each tackle or respond to the theme in diverse ways.

With artists featured from Northern Ireland, the USA, Germany, and from across the North-East of England, MAW is a key player in Middlesbrough’s flourishing cultural scene with organisers stating that it is a true reflection of the local and global nature of the arts in Middlesbrough.

Over four days, the event aims to embed culture through exhibitions, projects, talks and workshops in its ambitious, multi-site ‘town takeover’, utilising slack and public spaces alongside institutes and galleries.

The Weekender will open on Thursday September 26 with an art-trail across the town centre, leading to its official opening at 7.30pm at The Auxiliary located at 31 Station St, Middlesbrough, TS1 1SR.

The event then runs until Sunday September 29 at The Auxiliary and other venues including Platform A at Middlesbrough railway station, Navigator North’s Dundas House studios, Gilkes Street Studios, Basecamp at Exchange House in the heart of Middlesbrough.

There are also pop-up venues at plus Pop up venues on Albert Road in Conjunction with mima and in Captain Cook Square.

There are opportunities to get involved behind the scenes of the event as a volunteer. Email for further details.

The programme and further information about MAW is available at All events are free or pay what you decide.

MAW19’s partners are mima, Middlesbrough Town Hall, Middlesbrough Council, Tees Valley Combined Authority, Creative Darlington and Creative Factory, Northern Film and Media and The Auxiliary. In kind partners are Holiday Inn Express and Off the Ground Coffee House.