This young exhibition space has only been part of Belfast since 2012. However, its cultural offering has proved to be a valuable addition to the city and it holds exhibitions, plays and workshops throughout the year.
The MAC is part of Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter, a slowly-developing cultural hub for foodies and artists not too far from the city’ main shopping district. With three theatres, several art exhibition spaces and a sleek café-bar, it’s not hard to see why it’s become a key part of Belfast’s cultural scene.
It opened in 2012 and was designed by Belfast architectural practice Hackett Hall McKnight, in brick and basalt which reflects Northern Ireland’s volcanic landscape. It’s open 363 days a year and hosts a range of exhibitions, performances and workshops that change regularly. Theatrical productions are often run by local companies with small casts, creating an intimate and friendly performance.
The only permanent art installation is a striking sculpture by Mark Garry: “The Permanent Present”, made up of 400 metal wires stretched across the main foyer, which shimmer in the light and reflect rainbows onto the walls. Recent artists to have exhibited there include Gilbert and George (2018) and David Hockney (2016), as well as local Belfast-based artists such as Mark McGreevy and Dougal McKenzie. Art ranges from paintings to installations to film clips and sculpture, offering a more contemporary style of art than other Belfast art galleries.