Join us to celebrate 20 years of DCA!


14 February 2019

We're super excited to announce our 20th birthday programme of events!  To celebrate 20 years of being bold, open, meaningful and magical, our yearlong celebrations are kicking off in March. We've got an artists’ talk with Jane and Louise Wilson, a print symposium, and an open weekend featuring activities from across all our programme areas: from drop-in print tasters to films from the last 20 years (with prices from 1999!), and free family activities to the interactive exhibition State of Print.

Cllr John Alexander, said, “Dundee's cultural successes and continued aspirations were founded upon, and can very clearly trace themselves back to, important cultural milestones such as the creation of DCA. DCA has and continues to play a pivotal role; culturally, socially and economically and I'm very proud of what the team at DCA has achieved over those 20 years. Given the city's current position and vibrancy, I think we owe a large thanks and congratulations to an institution which is as passionate about Dundee as it is about art and culture.”

“DCA has and continues to play a pivotal role”

Our celebrations launch on Fri 8 March with an Artists’ Talk between Royal Academicians, Jane and Louise Wilson, and Director of DCA, Beth Bate. This special Q&A is also part of the nationwide programme of talks, events and exhibitions to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the Royal Academy of Arts. Jane and Louise graduated in 1989 from Newcastle Polytechnic and Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design (DJCAD) respectively; their final degree show comprising a joint exhibition held in Newcastle and Dundee. In 1999, they were nominated for the Turner Prize and in 2012 exhibited at DCA with a show that brought together two bodies of work: Atomgrad (Nature Abhors a Vacuum) and Face Scripting – What Did the Building See.

On Wed 13 March Artists in Print  is taking place. This day-long event is a celebration of print making, providing an opportunity for artists, academics, theoreticians and historians to consider issues around print and contemporary art in Scotland.  Through artists’ talks and chaired discussions with Tessa Lynch, Scott Myles, Claire Barclay, Helen de Main, Edwin Pickstone and Jacqueline Butler, our Print Studio will celebrate its twenty-year history of working with cutting edge and traditional print technologies. Focussing on the approach of artists with print, this is a rare opportunity to hear how practitioners think about using print processes in innovative and inventive ways, connecting to its social histories, collaborative processes and technological materiality.

Beth Bate, Director of DCA, said, “As DCA celebrates 20 years of enriching people’s lives through art, creativity and culture we’re thrilled to share this exciting programme of events. Our open weekend will be the perfect start to what will be an incredible year across all programme areas of DCA and I can’t wait to welcome audiences as they join in with the celebrations.”

“20 years of enriching people’s lives through art, creativity and culture”

On Fri 15 March in Gallery 2, State of Print will open. At a time when ‘the current state’ of national power globally is inflexible and dogmatic, this project provides a creative and theoretical antidote to the current paradigm. State of Print is an exhibition that can be manifest in response to any space, at any time. It can be both a sculptural form and a platform for activity. In exploring the notion that everything that formalises a nation is, or has been, printed, visitors can expect to see and engage with image production, poetry, debate, performance, music and film at varying times throughout the exhibition, as they explore the artist led nation that is State of Print.  

Our acclaimed cinema has enjoyed bringing a range of fantastic films, both home-grown and international, to our loyal audiences over the years.We'll be kicking off the big birthday weekend on Fri 15 March with a sneak preview of mid90s, Jonah Hill’s new coming-of-age drama, followed by a specially curated programme of best-loved films from the last two decades. 

Alice Black, DCA’s Head of Cinema, commented, “We’re thrilled to bring Dundee a preview of mid90s for our birthday celebration; steeped in the sights and sounds of 1990s L.A. skate culture, it’s the perfect film to remind us of DCA’s former life as Dundee’s unofficial skatepark.”

“the perfect film to remind us of DCA’s former life as Dundee’s unofficial skatepark.”

Even better, cinema tickets for selected films will be rolled-back to 1999 prices from Sat 16 – Sun 17 March! So you can rediscover modern classics including Pan’s Labyrinth, Ratcatcher, and The Illusionist for the same price as when we first opened our doors! There will also be the chance for people to put their film knowledge to the test with a special birthday edition of our ever-popular Film Quiz happening on Mon 18 March.

The open weekend will also see our Learning team provide plenty of opportunities to get creative, with free, drop-in workshops and events happening across the building. Visitors will be able to try their hand at a range of print techniques, screen-print their own DCA20 tote bag, explore different types of animation and make a special birthday badge. Activities will be suitable for all ages, with a focus on families making together.

In our Print Studio, there will also be an array of exciting workshops for visitors to take part in! On Sat 16 the focus will be on traditional printmaking techniques from Japanese Woodblock printing to Shadowgraphs. On Sun 17 workshops will involve newer technologies – come along and have a go at 3D Printing or the Laser Cutter!

We can't wait to start the party and celebrate 20 years of DCA - please join us! Advance booking is recommended for our birthday films. 

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