Free For Arts Festival, now in its fourth year, showcases art and performances in unusual locations around the city. Under new curatorship by Ali Gunn and Emily Songhurst, 16 exhibitions and nine events, talks and workshops spread across Manchester and Salford offering some unique experiences for the public ‘on the house’. Venues include Piccadilly House, John Rylands Library, Nexus Art Café, Rogue Project Space, The Bay Horse and Islington Mill. Here are three highlights…

Meat the Family: Housed in the cavernous unused retail space in Piccadilly Place, artists Burford, Harrison and Southwell present a series of macabre portraits. Working with a variety of media, themes explored include family, identity and the grotesque. 4 Piccadilly Place, M1 3BN, Preview Fri 19 Oct 6pm – 8pm, Open Daily Sat 20 – Fri 26 Oct 2pm – 7pm

Free For Sunday: Islington Mill opens its doors for a full day of art events. Taking over the courtyard, Jon Muir’s exhibition and performance, A Glimpse At The Coming World, gives the viewer a taste of what home life could be like if the world deteriorated into barbarism. The curators and artists behind group exhibition Hoist by Our Own Petard host  a day of interactive workshops exploring questions raised by the show. Expect a human Jukebox, a Sumi Ink Club meeting and a badge-making workshop. A Print and Publishing Fair takes over the club space showcasing collections of self-published zines, books, prints and products from independent organisations from Leeds and Manchester. The mill’s current performance artists in residence Volkov Commanders will be conducting a microphone workshop in the gallery space, while the exhibition Brittle Crazie Glasse, featuring a human-sized tornado, continues on the fifth floor. Islington Mill, James Street, Salford, M3 5HW, Sun 21 Oct, 2pm – 7pm

MidConversation: Organised by Laura Blake, Lucy Crowder and Elizabeth Atherton – three Manchester artists committed to making handcrafted art based around labour, process and technique –  take over Swan Square, hosting an open, interactive studio space for the duration of the festival. Swan Square, 79 Tib Street, M4 1LS, Open daily from Sat 20 to Fri 26 Oct, Sat 9am – 5pm, Sun 12pm – 5pm, Mon – Thu 9am – 5pm, Fri 9am – 8pm

Fri 19 Oct - Fri 26 Oct
Shereen Perera
Published on:
Thu 18 Oct 2012