THE growing status of mima as a regional art gallery has been recognised by two recent developments.

As one of 18 selected arts institutions in the UK, it has become part of Plus Tate, a venture announced last week by the Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, for the exchange of ideas, knowledge, skills and resources, programmes and collections.

Organised in conjunction with the Tate, in London, the aim is to broaden and deepen engagement in modern and contemporary art.

The scheme follows a pilot phase which began in 2009 to establish a network for galleries and arts organisations.

Kate Brindley, director of museums and galleries for Middlesbrough, said: “Tate is the UK’s leading international arts organisation, so the fact that they have entered into a partnership with mima is a huge endorsement of our quality and ambition.

“On a practical level, it brings tremendous opportunities, from everything from loans of Tate collections and exhibitions to the sharing of expertise.”

She hoped the partnership would lead to projects with other institutions in the art world.

In a separate development, mima will show an exhibition of about 40 post-war American drawings that will form part of its permanent collection.

Drawing is an important aspect of the collection in Middlesbrough, which hosted the Cleveland International Drawing Biennial from 1973- 1996. During that period, David Hockney, Sol LeWitt, and Henry Moore were among the guest contributors.

The exhibition, Drawing in Progress, results from a partnership between mima and The Drawing Center, New York, which began in 2007.

Members of that institution, which has not previously shown work in the UK, are all influential figures noted for moving drawing beyond its normal conventions.

The Art Fund International, supported by the Art Fund, gave £1m to allow mima to research and acquire what is now one of the finest collections of post-war American drawing in the UK.

A highlight will be a major new commission for the glass facade of the gallery by the acclaimed New York artist Lawrence Weiner, who visited Middlesbrough in May. He then developed the 24-hour artwork, A Line is a Line for All That, 2010, his largest-ever commission in the UK.

The artist will be In Conversation with Brett Littman, executive director of The Drawing Center, on the opening day of the exhibition, November 26, at 12.30pm.

The exhibition, which runs until March 20, will show what has been collected to date and the relationship forged over the past three years with The Drawing Center.

One illustration of this was the acclaimed Gerhard Richter exhibition at The Drawing Center in September which was curated by mima.

An exhibition of all the works collected by mima via the Art Fund is planned for 2013.