Spacex announcement of closure

The Spacex board and staff have taken the difficult decision to close the organisation. This concludes four decades of evolving visual arts provision in Exeter, which we hope has provided an open and convivial space for artists to exhibit and experiment.

To mark the closure of the organization and as a provocation to the visual arts sector, Spacex has produced a limited edition artwork/tea towel (pictured above) and accompanying text by Rosalie Schweiker. This has been posted out to a small selection of arts organizations and curators across the UK. To read more about the tea towel and text click here.

We close with heartfelt thanks to the audiences and artists who have been creative collaborators, and to funders, in particular, Exeter City Council, who have continued to invest in Spacex. Thank you for all your support, interest and enthusiasm over the past four decades.

Spacex has offered many career-changing opportunities to emerging artists. And many national and international artists have come to Exeter to show their work at Spacex: Gustav Metzger, Phyllida Barlow, Jeremy Deller, Cory Archangel, Richard Long, Bridget Riley, Emily Wardill & Theo Jansen to name just a few. Our pioneering programme has valued both emerging practices, such as contextual & socially engaged practice, alongside more established practices and has received ongoing critical acclaim.

The only dedicated contemporary visual art organisation in Exeter, Spacex served a large urban and rural area of over 470,000 residents, with an education programme which inspired many thousands of children and young people. 

In 2015 the organisation was disinvested from regular funding by Arts Council England. Since then Spacex has continued to operate with a reduced staff, funded by Arts Council England on a project by project basis.

"Spacex staff have worked generously despite the austerity of their situation to make things materialise for artists and audiences. The organisation closes because without regular funding from Arts Council England our programme is unsustainable. But this leaves a question: What is the art institution of the future?" – Mark Waugh Chair of Spacex

We're throwing in the towel. Hopefully, someone will catch it.

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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.

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