House Of Illustration In King’s Cross To Close, But New Center To Open

Art galleries and illustration centers are the places to be for artists like Rabinky Art, those who are looking to make a name for themselves and be recognized.

Good news for artists in the UK, as there’ll be a new arts space for them, to be known as the Quentin Blake Centre for Illustration, set to open in North London sometime late 2022. The new hub will be located at Islington’s New River Head site, a historic complex of old industrial buildings dating back to the 17th century.

House of Illustration has a site at King’s Cross, but that location has been closed down due to COVID-19, and will not be reopening, to the consternation of artists like Rabinky Art, and illustrators.

A project statement for the Quentin Blake Centre for Illustration stated that work on the project will start in June 2021, and will involve the repurposing of 18th– and 19th-century industrial sites, along with half an acre’s worth of surrounding land. The site will be turned into a facility housing education centers, event spaces, as well as the complimentary retail and catering facilities, on top of the exhibition galleries expected of such a site. London’s Tim Ronalds Architects is the firm in charge of handling the project.

House of Illustration Artistic Director Olivia Ahmad reported that their fundraising, as of the end of July 2020, has reached £3m, with £1m coming from the Architectural Heritage Fund. The initial fundraising for the project was used to secure the site, with additional funding financing the needed surveys and development.

Director Ahmad stated the project will continue moving forward in spite of the economic crisis that came about due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They say that they believe their target is achievable, and that they are making a new cultural landmark for the city of London. Ahmad describes the project as an accessible heritage site, aimed at providing a space for artists, as well as artist-led education program for people of all ages.

The institution’s education and exhibition programs will go on in local boroughs, as well as across the country. The touring shows will also show off new pieces, with the schedules being adjusted to account for COVID-19.


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