image credit: Jane Emberson, Calantha courtesy of Art Dog London

About Us

The Manchester Contemporary is dedicated to bringing together the most exciting, up and coming galleries and artists from across the UK to Manchester.

Launched in 2009, The Manchester Contemporary is committed to encouraging and developing a market for critically engaged contemporary art in the region. It provides an opportunity for audiences to access high calibre contemporary art by exhibiting international artists alongside those that are new and emerging.


Following a small event within Buy Art Fair in 2008,  The Manchester Contemporary launches with a unique installation.


The Manchester Contemporary moves to Spinningfields.


Launch of the VIP Collector Programme with guest speaker Robert Devereux.


Visitor numbers increase by a 43% year on year and art sales by 39% across Buy Art Fair and The Manchester Contemporary.


Over 20 galleries take part with Vitrine, IMT and Platform A exhibiting for the first time.


The Manchester Contemporary moves to Old Granada Studios.


In conversation artist talks are launched, chaired by Pavel Büchler. The Fair preview was attended by Frank Cohen & Anita Zabludowciz.


Exclusive interview with Frank Cohen, World's Top 200 art collector, and launch of Fair Cities conference

Curatorial Coordinators

Laurence Lane & Paulette Terry BrienOnce again, Salford gallery, The International 3, have been selected to take the role of curatorial co-ordinator for The Manchester Contemporary art fair. The International 3 has been charged with bringing together galleries that give art enthusiasts, buyers and collectors access to critically engaged contemporary art by emerging and established UK and international artists.

Paulette Terry Brien and Laurence Lane, co-directors of The International 3, agree that: “The Manchester Contemporary is an integral part of the art market development work that is being undertaken in the North West so we are very excited to be curating it. Our commitment to it demonstrates our continued ambition to raise the profile of Manchester as a centre for contemporary art in the UK.”

The Organisers

The team behind the event has over 20 years experience in the large scale events industry and organises events in the arts and culture and food & drink industries. Current events include Buy Art Fair, The Manchester Contemporary, Northern Restaurant & Bar, NRB Debate and NRB Top Fifty Awards.

Thom, 42, is CEO of Holden Media which founded and organises Buy Art Fair and The Manchester Contemporary. Thom is a board member of Castlefield Gallery, and well as advising organisations such as the Whitworth Art Gallery and Manchester Museum on visitor hospitality. He also advises property developers on cultural capital and place-making, and has mentored cultural entrepreneurs. Thom also previously sat on boards including Urbis, the major gallery of city culture. Thom is regularly quoted in the region’s leading cultural and consumer media, including The Manchester Evening News, Creative Tourist and The Culture Show, and has spoken about art buying and collecting on Radio 4.