VASW Projects 2012-14

Visual Arts South West Leadership Programme Report

VASWLP was a leadership development programme commissioned by Visual Arts South West and funded by Arts Council England, for artists, curators and managers working in the visual arts in the South West. VALPSW was about developing individuals, organisations and the sector and put participants’ artistic vision first and looked at how they can work to achieve that vision. 

The programme was made up of five day long workshops running from April to November 2013, plus 1:1 mentoring for all participants. Read the full evaluation report here >>

An independent short Case Study is available to read here >>


Research and development into the potential for a major international contemporary art event for the South West

Over several years there has been dialogues in various parts of the South West about developing a biennial (or major event) of contemporary visual art. This had included the proposal to bring Manifesta to Cornwall, developing a Bristol Biennial and a potential Biennial for Plymouth. As part of our programme VASW held an open meeting in October 2012 to explore the question of A Biennial for the South West? The views expressed were varied, however at the end of the day, it was agreed that a feasibility study was needed to review the concept. Mariam Sharp, Director of CulturalSIX and Ann Jones, Director of Arts Projects and

Solutions were selected as consultants to develop the feasibility study, which took place between April and August 2013. Reports from the Open Space Event

Final Report from the Feasibility Study

Read more here >>


Quality of Experience Study

What is Quality of Experience in the contemporary visual arts? And how do we measure it? This detailed study, commissioned by Visual Arts South West, conducted by AJ Associates Ltd in partnership with Arnolfini, b-side, New Brewery Arts and Spike Island pilots methodologies for measuring Quality of Experience. The programme took place from August 2012 - March 2014, and the final report is published here >> 

Artist and Curators Professional Development Programme

Visual Arts South West developed a bursary programme for artists and curators in the South West to help independent visual art practitioners (curators, artists, writers & freelance cultural producers) make the next step in their own personal and professional development.

A case study report of the programme can be viewed here >>


Critical Writing for the Visual Arts

VASW developed a programme, in partnership with The Arvon Foundation on Critical Writing for the Visual Arts, a six-day residential course in January 2014, which 16 people were awarded places on. The aims were to provide development opportunities for a raised level of quality in critical writing on the visual arts in the South West; to raise the level of quality and quantity of critical writing for the general reader (non-academic) on the visual arts in the South West and to build a cohort of critical practitioners in the region. A full report from the programme will be available to view soon.

VASW Website

Since its launch in 2012, the VASW has promoted and profiled thousands of events, exhibitions, opportunities, news stories, resources and links for the visual arts sector in the South West. With a rapidly growing audience for the site, we've been reviewing and developing our offer. A full evaluation report will be available very soon.

New Ways of Working

In this strand of our programme we have been examining how different parts of the visual arts ecology of the region are operating, and looking at potential new ways of working to support the sustainability of the sector. We've brought in experts to give presentations and workshops, and we've shared knowledge from national initiatives to our regional network. A case study of our 'New Ways of Working' event, held in November 2013 can be viewed here >>

New Expressions

Visual Arts South West has become a major partner in the New Expressions programme, which  is an initiative for museums, historic places and contemporary artists. It pioneers collaboration to invigorate collections, spaces and creative practice. It enables museums and places to commission new work and to join forces with contemporary artists to create high quality, participative projects and fresh visitor experiences. VASW has taken the lead in developing the New Opportunities Award - an open opportunity for artists and museums to develop and realise an artistic collaboration. In January 2014 VASW held an event which presented case studies of artist, museum and heritage collaborations. Notes and presentations from the day can be viewed here >>


VASW Projects 2011 - 12

Organisational Development Mentoring - Evaluation Report Read more here >>

Alias Hubs Report
Read more here >>


Understanding Audiences - the findings
Read more here >>

What's On

Family Saturdays

Aspex Gallery, The Vulcan, PO1 3BF

Monday 01 October 2018 – Thursday 31 October 2019

Craft Workshops

Various Venues

Friday 08 February 2019 – Tuesday 31 December 2019

Jon England: Hour Hands

Market House Museum, 32 Swain St, Watchet TA23 0AD

Wednesday 27 March 2019 – Friday 08 November 2019

Visual Arts South West

Working towards a South West where talented artists thrive, and a resilient and connected visual arts ecology that inspires more engaged and diverse audiences to value and advocate for its work.

Part of the Contemporary Visual Arts Network

Supported by: