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Touchstones Rochdale offers a wide variety of exhibitions in the Heritage Gallery and the Art Gallery's four gallery spaces including those from the local community, selections from the borough's impressive art collection and work by contemporary artists.

Here's the current and forthcoming programme.

We have also archived our previous exhibition information.

Exhibitions from the borough’s collections

See artworks and objects from the borough's rich collections in annually changing displays.

Jarred: Ceramics from the collection

ikuko iwamoto teapotUntil Saturday 1 October 2016
Heritage Gallery

Our homes are filled with ceramics. From teapots to tiles, baking bowls to bricks, prized ornaments to studio pieces, this exhibition celebrates their diversity. Jarred looks at how ceramics help us in our everyday lives, telling their story from 4000BC to the present day. Discover how ceramics have been used in social and religious rituals and to commemorate events, places or people. Explore the decorative styles that have influenced their design. Learn how bricks were locally produced on an industrial scale to build Lancashire's famous mills and terraces.

Ancient Roman and Egyptian pottery as well as Chinese and English porcelain can be seen in the display cases. Highlights include an ancient Greek vase attributed to the Swing Painter as well as new acquisitions by contemporary ceramists Paul Scott and Ikuko Iwamoto. Younger visitors can follow the White Rabbit and join Alice at the Mad Hatter's tea party as well as laugh out loud at the tale of the tipper toilet and the naughty school boy.

Women Artists: From 1861 to 2015

women artist exhibitionSaturday 19 March 2016 - Saturday 4 March 2017
Gallery Two 

This exhibition presents a selection of art from the Borough’s collection, charting and celebrating the Art Gallery’s history of collecting work by women. Drawing on this strength, and tracing the role gender has played in the production of art, the exhibition looks at how the formal and conceptual concerns of female artists have changed from the late 19th century to the present day. It includes work by Henrietta Ward, Dorothea Sharp, Laura Knight, Stella Magarshack, Gillian Ayres, Lubaina Himid, Maud Sulter, Cornelia Parker, Junko Mori and Hayley Tompkins.  

Explore our under 5s interactive boxes in the Art Gallery with tactile toys and beautiful books linked to the exhibition.

Exhibitions from the local community

Gallery One is a dedicated space for exhibitions by artists and community groups based in the borough and People's Art is the annual open exhibition.

We welcome applications for Gallery One exhibitions from anyone who lives or works in the borough of Rochdale - just ask for an application form.

Moving Up

moving up hopwood hall3 September - 12 November 2016

Gallery One

This exhibition showcases the talents of students studying on the Art & Design courses at Hopwood Hall College. It features a wide variety of work from paintings and drawings through to textiles, ceramics and sculptures.

People's Art 2016

peoples art 201624 September - 19 November 2016
Gallery Three & Four

Our popular annual open exhibition for new and established artists, both amateur and professional, who live or work in the borough of Rochdale returns.

The exhibition demonstrates the stunning number of skilled artistic and visionary members of the public who live or work in the Borough with a keen amateur or professional interest in Art. Of the many paintings, photographs and sculptures on display, many will be available for to buy. We urge everyone, no matter how keen your interest is in visual art, to pop over to Touchstones and see the spectacular quality and range of work produced from within this talented Borough."

Visitors to the exhibition can vote for their favourite artwork in the 'People's Choice' award and there are free hands on activities for children in the gallery with the popular 'Art Paddock'.

The dates for handing in art to feature in the exhibition are Thursday 8 to Saturday 10 September 2016.

Who can enter? Any individual who lives or works in the Borough of Rochdale. (If you live outside the Borough you will be contacted to confirm you work in the Borough).

What can be entered? One original work on any subject in any medium as long as it has not been exhibited in People’s Art before. When choosing your work for submission please remember People’s Art is a family friendly exhibition and your work should fit with this ethos and be suitable for viewing by all ages. Work which does not meet these criteria will not be included in the exhibition.

How do you enter? Download and complete the entry form with your details and those of the piece of work to be submitted. An entry fee of £5 is payable on delivery of the work.

How many works can be entered? Entrants may submit one work each.

pdfPeople's Art Entry Form 2016.