Plymouth Arts Centre’s visual art programme is based on deep and sustained engagement and support for artists, from the exhibitions to residencies and our PAC Home membership scheme. We strengthen artistic practice in Plymouth by creating opportunities for artists at every stage of their career.
Contemporary art is an invigorating way to re-imagine and challenge the world today: we want to bring a wider audience to art, and champion it within the city at every opportunity, positioning Plymouth on the map nationally and internationally as a dynamic centre for contemporary visual art, by taking a leading role in events such as the British Arts Show 7, Plymouth Art Weekender, and the forthcoming Mayflower 2020 Commemorations.
Our Artistic Director, Ben Borthwick, was formerly a curator at Tate Modern and Director of the international art prize Artes Mundi. In 2016 Ben curated Plymouth Arts Centre’s year-long programme of exhibitions entirely dedicated to female artists and curators. Since closing our restaurant in 2015 we have been able to double our gallery space, creating opportunities for larger and more ambitious exhibitions. We have also opened up onsite accommodation for use by artists in residence along with their families or collaborators: this is enabling us to fundraise for and programme residencies for artists at all stages in their careers.
Plymouth Arts Centre has a long history of supporting artists’ moving image and has renewed this commitment through the Gallery in the Cinema programme, launched in April. The first year of this programme presents a series of commissions and co-commissions by artists including Steven Paige, Kihlberg & Henry, Abigail Reynolds, Kayla Parker, and Maori artist Bridget Reweti. Gallery in the Cinema takes advantage of our cinema’s independence, screening artists’ film and video between gallery exhibitions and around our regular cinema programme.