ADMISSION TO FIRSTSITE IS FREE

Open 10am – 5pm everyday

Welcome to Firstsite!

Firstsite is Art Fund Museum of the Year 2021.

See the world differently – experience the very best art and culture from around the world that inspires, empowers and opens your mind.

Enjoy our exhibitions, films and events. Relax in our colourful cafe with outdoor seating and find quirky, fun and stylish products in our shop.

See What's on

ADMISSION TO FIRSTSITE IS FREE

Open 10am – 5pm everyday

What's on

Top picks

Exhibitions

Free

Mehdi Jalalaghdamian: Art In Exile

3 September 2022 - 3 September 2023

10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Master rug-maker, Mehdi Jalalghdamian, draws attention to the experiences of refugees and asylum seekers worldwide through the traditional craft of Persian rug making

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Courses, Clubs & Classes

Boozy Brushes

25 November 2022 - 28 April 2023

Multiple times available

Join Sirena Hart at Firstsite for Boozy Brushes – our New Multi-Art, Drag entertainment painting class extravaganza!

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Exhibitions

Free

Reena Saini Kallat: Leaking Lines

15 October 2022 - 16 April 2023

Reena Saini Kallat explores the violence and fragility of national borders by juxtaposing the outlines of boundary lines from across the world with images of the landscapes which they divide.

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Courses, Clubs & Classes

Drag Queen Life Drawing with Sirena Hart

26 November 2022 - 15 April 2023

Multiple times available

A one-of-a-kind life drawing class, where your tutor and model will offer multiple poses in fantastical settings.

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Exhibitions

Free

BIG WOMEN

11 February - 18 June 2023

Join us for a BIG exhibition celebrating the creative achievements of women in art, curated by one of Britain’s most significant contemporary artists – Sarah Lucas.

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Cinema

Exhibition On Screen: Mary Cassatt: Painting The Modern Woman

8 - 12 March 2023

Multiple times available

Mary Cassatt made a career painting the lives of the women around her. Her radical images showed them as intellectual, feminine, and real.

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Online

Recorded Talk: Dame Zandra Rhodes & Jon Lys Turner in conversation

31 December 2023

12:00 pm ,

Recorded live at Firstsite Rhodes and Turner will be discussing and celebrating the never-to-be-repeated lives of Dicky Chopping and Denis Wirth-Miller, their literary and artistic output and their complex relationship with Francis Bacon.

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Cinema

A Man Called Otto (Captioned)

7 February 2023

7:00 pm

A Man Called Otto tells the story of Otto Anderson (Tom Hanks), a grumpy widower who is very set in his ways.

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Cinema

Brian & Roger Eno Live at the Acropolis

2 March 2023

7:00 pm

Brian Eno and Roger Eno have been recording together since 1983. This unique musical event not only sees the two brothers performing live together for the first time.

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Community and Partners

Free

Colchester Record Fair

18 February 2023 - 5 November 2022

Multiple times available

Colchester’s Record Fair returns to Firstsite, a treat for both enthusiasts and casual collectors alike. Come browse through stall holders’ collections of vinyl and CDs from a vast range of genres. Grab yourself a bargain – or perhaps something a little rarer.  

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Talks & Events

Sally Shaw in conversation with James Dodds and Simon Carter

17 February 2023

7:00 pm

Artists James Dodds and Simon Carter discuss the influence East Anglia has had on their lives and work with Firstsite’s Director, Sally Shaw MBE.

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Talks & Events

Essex Talks: Tim Burrows in conversation with Hana Loftus and Ken Worpole

16 February 2023

7:00 pm

Tim Burrows, architect Hana Loftus (Director of HAT Projects) and writer Ken Worpole (author of ‘350 Miles: An Essex Journey’) discuss the Essex Flood of 1953 – one of the worst natural disasters in British history.

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Cinema

A Man Called Otto

3 - 9 February 2023

Multiple times available

A Man Called Otto tells the story of Otto Anderson (Tom Hanks), a grumpy widower who is very set in his ways.

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Cinema

Puss In Boots: The Last Wish

10 - 19 February 2023

Multiple times available

This year, everyone’s favourite leche-loving, swashbuckling, fear-defying feline returns.

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Talks & Events

More Big Women conference

23 February 2023

9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Inspired by our new exhibition BIG WOMEN, we’ve brought together some of the most influential and inspiring women from across the art and cultural sector (and beyond!) to share their professional and personal experiences of leadership in culture.

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Take a look at our online shop

Featuring a range of design-led products and books inspired by our exhibition programme, events and community, our shop has something for everyone. All profits from your purchase raises funds to help us keep our exhibitions free and supports our community outreach activities.

Shop online
Christmas at Firstsite

Hold your event at Firstsite

Firstsite’s stunning architecture and versatile spaces creates a fun and inspiring venue for any event – from private parties to conferences, community meetings and presentations.

Plus, by hiring our spaces you can support the local community as any profits go straight back into funding our exhibitions and outreach projects.

Hire Our Spaces

Make the most of your visit

Latest news

“Flourishing localism is key to decarbonisation” – An interview with EA Sustain founder, Joanne Ooi

30 December 2022

  With the launch of new environment and culture festival, EA Sustain, less than two weeks away, we sat down with Joanne Ooi, founder of EA Sustain and EA Festival, to talk about her goals and vision for the…

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Social posts

Welcome area at Firstsite. 'Big Hello' (2018) Peter Liversidge. Photo by Jayne Lloyd.

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