Just north of the centre of Nikiszowiec (3km by official measure), this seemingly obscure and certainly under appreciated modern art gallery is arguably Katowice’s best art space and one of the primary highlights of a trip to Nikiszowiec. Located in the pithead building and bathhouse of the old Wilson shaft of the Wieczorek mine, the buildings now occupied by the gallery date back to 1918, and were designed by the same Zillman brother tandem behind the Nikiszowiec housing district. The dilapidated mineshaft, where excavations began back in 1864, can still be seen in glorious ruin behind the gallery buildings, having ceased operation in 1997. Taken over by the ‘Pro Inwest’ company and adapted into exhibition and office spaces, the area around the Wilson shaft is now filled with brightly-painted outdoor sculptures in sharp contrast to the industrial surroundings, as well as a muraled entrance wall full of colourful pop culture icons (making it hard to miss). The gallery itself comprises an impressive 2,500 square metres divided into three halls, the largest of which wouldn’t look dissimilar to a gymnasium if the installation art was swapped for basketball hoops. Full of seriously bonkers, yet compellingly high quality sculpture, graphic and installation art by both local and international artists, exhibitions change regularly with permanent installations – some disturbing, some playful, some political – hidden throughout the dozens of small nooks spidering throughout the building. The closest thing to a contemporary art museum in Katowice, it’s an admirable and highly recommendable venue where the security guards are noticeably as passionate about the art as the owners must be. Not only is it admission free but the mini-buffet is a great option for breakfast or lunch (Mon - Fri 08:00 - 16:00). To get there jump off bus 30 or 109 at the 'Nikiszowiec Szyb Wilson' stop on ul. Szopienicka, or bus 920 at the 'Janów Lwowska Szkoła' stop on ul. Lwowska.
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