We are working with partners, organisations and individuals across the region to deliver a programme to support the development of the visual arts sector in the South West. This has been generously funded by Arts Council England through 'Grants for the Arts'.

Programme strands include:

Going Places: 

Our region is geographically the largest distance from one end to the other, with many areas remote & rural. We will support better connectivity & engagement through travel bursaries. These will be distributed in two ways; through partnership with organisations for key events and through open call. We will support raised ambition & critical dialogue, as well as talent and potential. Travel support might also include bringing key people into the region to support wider connectivity and advocacy opportunities. We will partner with Spike Associates, PAC Home & Creative Skills and Take A Part's social engagement conference in May 2016.


Artist Mentoring Programme

 A region-wide programme connecting talented artists to arts professionals across organisations in the region. In partnership with Creative Skills & 14 organisations across the region, this programme sees 16 expert mentors supporting 18 practitioners across a 1-year period to develop their practice, make new connections & consider new ways of working. The programme includes: open call to our 50k+ network, selection process with partner Creative Skills, an introduction session; a social event bringing together the programme participants informally, at least 4 half-day mentoring sessions as well as email & telephone exchange, a mid-term review session & a final social exchange session.

Critical Events 

We will hold two large events engaging as large audiences from the visual arts in the SW to discuss current, pertinent topics. In November/December 2015 the topic will be 'Redefining Practice'. The event will take a critical look at how practice is evolving; themes emerging, materials & presentation methods. The second event, in autumn 2016 will examine how organisations have adapted throughout reduced public funding, initiatives to drive more philanthropy & private giving.

Writing Partnerships

We will develop partnerships with regional & national journals/press and support the development of the  SW Art Writers network to foster more writing about art in the South West in order to raise the profile of the work that goes on, nurture writing talent, and create better engagement opportunities for audiences.

Website Development

We will develop our website to connect & engage more audiences to the visual arts in the South West. Building on the continued growth of web audiences, we now need to make strategic interventions in order to retain audiences, extend our reach & develop the potential for private income generation.

For more information, or to suggest programme ideas please get in touch with Network Manager Gordon Dalton at

What's On

Get Creative this Summer

17 Townsend Cottage

Wednesday 02 July 2008 – Thursday 30 August 2018

Empire Through the Lens

Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, Queens Rd, Bristol BS8 1RL

Saturday 30 September 2017 – Friday 31 August 2018

Plymouth Art Weekender 2018


Tuesday 09 January 2018 – Sunday 30 September 2018

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: