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Page last updated at 10:47 GMT, Tuesday, 9 February 2010
Walsall New Art Gallery 10th anniversary party
Courtesy Gary Kirkham
The New Art Gallery has attracted over 1.6 million visitors to date

Michael Jackson takes centre stage during The New Art Gallery's 10th anniversary birthday festivities.

The life-sized bronze statue of The King of Pop has been created by Chinese artist Yang Mian.

His sculpture is joined by 50 other works, including 2001 Turner Prize winner Martin Creed's balloon installation.

The exhibition - called PARTY! - marks the gallery's 10th birthday and runs until 18 April.

Also on show is David Batchelor's Disco Mécanique, a sculpture incorporating brightly coloured mirror balls made from hundreds of pairs of plastic sunglasses.

10th anniversary

Officially opened in February 2000 to national acclaim, The New Art Gallery was designed by Caruso St John Architects.

Courtesy Gary Kirkham
Construction began in January 1997 and was completed in September 1999

Clad in terracotta tiles and featuring a distinctive 100ft tower, it was short-listed for the 2000 Sterling Prize for architecture.

Since opening, the gallery has been visited by over 1.6 million people - with over 200,000 coming through its doors in 2009.

"The New Art Gallery is a real success story," said gallery director Stephen Snoddy.

"We've not only succeeded in exhibiting emerging and established artists but we've also maintained our strong links with the people of Walsall.

"We pride ourselves on being innovative and challenging but also inclusive and accessible."

10 reasons to celebrate

  • In 2000 the gallery was shortlisted for the prestigious Sterling Architecture Prize. The Stirling Prize is given for the RIBA Building of the Year and is named after the great British architect Sir James Stirling (1926-1992)
  • In 2007 the gallery (in conjunction with the Birmingham Museum and Art Fund and Ikon Gallery) was allocated £1 million by The Art Fund to develop collections of international contemporary art
  • 22 contemporary artworks were purchased through the Special Collections Scheme, a national initiative which enabled 15 galleries throughout England to build up collections of contemporary work
  • In 2006 the gallery acquired the prestigious Epstein Archive, a collection of photographs, manuscripts, sketches and correspondence
  • More than 1.6 million people have visited the gallery since its opening in February 2000
  • Over 48,000 school children are down as recorded visitors
  • The gallery has hosted major solo exhibitions by the likes of Gordon Cheung, Vidya Gastaldon, Christopher Le Brun and Conrad Shawcross
  • A residency programme continues to support artists based in the West Midlands
  • In 2006, Floor 4 of the gallery was transformed from a restaurant area into a new gallery space
  • In 2009, Bob and Roberta Smith and The Epstein Archive was launched, revealing the Epstein Archive in new and exciting ways

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