About the Gallery at 164
The Gallery at 164 is an art gallery and event space in Leeds.
The gallery opened its doors to the public in September 2011 as ‘Leeds Gallery’, a traditional ‘white box’ gallery, since then we have exhibited an eclectic mix of styles and media from both established and emerging talents.
Since then our bakery and sandwich shop, Café 164 which also occupies the space, has thrived and sustaining a traditional style gallery alongside it became impossible, often not fitting with the flavour of hospitality that we wanted to offer.
That said, we are still very much a gallery – we create concepts for exhibitions, we source artists, funds, we work to support students, local artists, and we still strive to bring art and artists to Leeds from further afield like we always set out to do back in 2011, we just have more tables in our space.
We love art and culture in Leeds, and we are so proud of the over 100 (and counting) public exhibitions we have curated and organised in the last nine years – you can see our entire archive in the Programme section of this website.
We will keep on doing this because for us, art, culture, food and drink are all tied up with one another under one glorious banner called Hospitality and thats what we are care about.
Please enjoy our website, our exhibitions, and know that when you come to see a show here, and you buy a sandwich or a coffee, you are supporting us in more ways than you realise.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.
Our first exhibition, Terry O’Neill: 50 Years at the Top, brought his iconic photographs to Leeds for the first time and Terry officially opened the gallery at the private view on 14 September 2011.
Highlights of 2012 included The Illustrators, the first ever Leeds Print Festival, our Yorkshire Artists series, a retrospective of Ronald Searle’s illustrations, Leeds Through a Lens, the 24th Annual SUN Awards and Excess all Areas, a celebration legendary Leeds club night Back to Basics and 20 years of its subversive flyer artwork.
2013 hosted a Life Drawing exhibition, iconic photography charting the career of The Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Foo Fighters, aptly titled One By One… By The Way, Lord Whitney and Jack Hudson’s Mock ‘n’ Roll, The Feast featuring Bompas and Parr’s fantastical Whisky Tornado, a controversial exhibition of Cartoons of Margaret Thatcher, The Yorkshire Photographers and Lee Goater’s graphic design spectacular – Faces: Anatomy of Autonomy. The year ended with a neon exhibition, all pieces hand-crafted by Julia Bickerstaff – Neon: Burning Light.
2014 was the year the Tour de France came to Yorkshire, and our feature show was Cyclism in June and July. Other highlights included TONE’s Eden Diaries, the degree show of Leeds College of Art’s inaugural MA Creative Practice course, We See Fireworks – where the gallery was turned into a black box installation as part of the Compass Festival 2014 – a show of recently graduated ‘Young Blood‘ from universities across the UK, Casey Orr’s Saturday Girl, gig poster screenprints in the form of Flyposting #3, and a Tattoo exhibition.
The first few months saw a series of exciting exhibitions one after the other… we kicked off with Leeds Print Festival 2015, in it’s third iteration since launching in 2012. Sara Pope’s fantastic paintings followed, certainly one to keep an eye on in the coming years. Justin Slee’s Avant, 5 years of photography at Northern Ballet was a real highlight to end the first 1/3 of 2015. We went all environmental in April for the Human Nature show, and May saw the result of many months of planning come to fruition with The Great Edible Exhibition, and #feedmeart. Highlights of the second half of the year included an exhibition of BAFTA Portraits, and we brought celebrated celebrity photographer Cornel Lucas’ photographs to Leeds for the first time. We popped-up at Harvey Nichols in Leeds with Pop Up Pop Art! Sara Teresa’s portraiture project, Wallflower, entranced us during October, and the final big exhibition of the year was the immensely popular cartoonist Joan Cornellà’s exhibition ‘Contains Adult Themes’ (and it did).
At the start of the year Exhibit: came home to the gallery; our curated exhibition programme popped up for 3 months as we showcased a selection of the best work from the programme. Highlights from Spring to Summer included the 4th annual Leeds Print Festival and the hugely popular second instalment of Leeds Through a Lens. We celebrated the superwomen of food and art in May with Women | Art | Food, were taken over by up-and-coming illustrator Geo Law, and then looked at the varying themes around gender (with some very interesting Neon artworks!). Peter dench was with us through into Autumn with his look at Dallas, USA. The SUN Awards returned for the 5th time with the 28th annual SUN showcase. November saw Jamie McKelvie and writer Kieron Gillen’s internationally popular ‘The Wicked + The Divine‘ join us as part of the 2016 Thought Bubble Festival. We ended 2016 with an installation show of Jason Taylor’s Everyday Objects, a topsy turvy reimagining of the everyday objects that reside in our homes.
As part of the Yorkshire Sculpture Triangle Engagement Programme Paul Digby’s Figure – Process – Material was on show from the end of January, the culmination of a project working with local community groups. Wex Photographic brought their annual #WexMondays competition exhibition to the gallery through February and March. For Spring we were inundated by gig poster goodness in a heavenly union of music and art with work by Manchester-based New Analog. We went green with the installation of a green wall in May with Plant / Grow / Make / Eat; featuring an event with Patternity, and specially commissioned artwork, it was a celebration of pattern in food. With ‘The Illustrator’, we entered the wonderful world of Maria Brzozowska’s illustrations. The ever popular Thought Bubble Festival was a great excuse to celebrate the legendary 2000AD, which we did when the space was filled with original and specially created prints for ZARJAZ! While Bay Backner’s beautiful works span September and October in the café and gallery space, then running through as we bring Pom To The People with a series of workshops run by Stitch Up, creating the exhibition in front of our very eyes. The SUN Awards returned in November for it’s 5th year in Leeds, we then ended the year with an exhibition of Alexandra Gallagher’s fantastic work in ‘Birds with Birds‘.
Our first new exhibition of 2018 was Syrett’s XL Editions, followed by a photographic show, in the form of raw and on-the-fly imagery by acclaimed music photographer Maron Stills. We hosted the Grand Dishes exhibition throughout May and June as part of Leeds Indie Food Festival 2018. Typed Face was a show of famous musical faces made out of typed lyrics from their songs, and These Northen Types sees out the Summer showcasing a project by Oli Bentley of Split Design in Leeds. The comic and pop-culture artist Matt Ferguson took over the gallery in September and October with his hugely successful retrospective exhibition, which was followed by Leeds Arts University graduate Abigail Aaron’s Songs, and Beyond Photography’s Alchemy to round off the year bringing together work across the broad spectrum of image making from a selection of the most investigative, unique, and challenging artists in the field.
Throughout 2019 we have been exploring some photographic themes alongside a lighthearted look at sign writing and comic art. We began the year with Tish Murtha’s searing documentary work ‘Youth Unemployment‘ from the 1970s and 8os, followed by Third Eye Signs’ debut exhibition featuring new, specially created work. During the early summer Joakim Blockstrom’s evocative ‘Chef’s Hands Project‘ came to Leeds; a fantastic series created to raise awareness of mental health in kitchens; Joakim came to Leeds to shoot some local female chefs, including Liz Cottham of Home Leeds. Through August until October showcased local artist Gabriella Ranito-Baltazar‘s beautiful abstract work, followed by collaboration between 164, Leeds Arts University and Thought Bubble Festival – Comic and Concept Art – which will see out the year.
The new year started with After Space, exhibition of original paintings by two Leeds-based artists Dan Harland and Jenny Beard. We followed with From Angler Fish to Helicopters… by Mick Marston, a Sheffield-based illustrator who also teaches in Leeds. Unfortunately we were forced to close in April, and the gallery remained closed for the remainder of 2020.
We are hoping to restart our programme in 2021, as soon as we are able.
Please see our exhibitions page for details of past and upcoming shows.
Sign up to our mailing list for invitations to 164 events: