Open Sun:
11am - 5pm

A Creative Community

Discover our 100 year history of being a home for artists and see inside the studios of the artists currently working in the building.

Time

11:00am - 5:00pm

Date

Wed 08 September - Sun 28 November 2021

As part of a new programme centred around the Bluecoat’s cultural legacies, a new exhibition, A Creative Community, will launch on 8th September 2021.

We've been a home for working artists for over a hundred years. From the first group of artists who occupied the former school building in 1907, through to the present day, this ‘creative community’ remains at the heart of the Bluecoat, with some 20 artists and creatives occupying studios today. A Creative Community will tell the story of these artists through material drawn from the art centre’s extensive archive.

As well as revealing the heritage of artists working in the building, the display will also feature the Bluecoat’s ‘extended family’ of artists-in-residence and printmaking studios, and a new series of photos commissioned from current occupier Sophie Traynor provides an opportunity for the public to get to know the current cohort of creatives.

This exhibition in our Vide gallery is free, no booking required.

Julia Carter Preston, The Bluecoat, 1980s
Clement McAleer, The Bluecoat 1986. Image Credit: Brenda Evans

Formally established in 1927 as the UK’s first art centre, the Bluecoat is housed in central Liverpool’s oldest building which has a long and complex history. The Cultural Legacies programme focuses on the Bluecoat’s wider impact, starting with its support for artists. Two further focuses, the civic role of the arts centre, and interrogating colonial legacies, will follow between November and March 2022. All three are intended to explore the idea of the arts centre as providing space for critical reflection and engagement.

The exhibition reflects a key aim for the Bluecoat as an arts organisation: to ‘unlock creative process’, and it provides a behind the scenes glimpse of this happening.

To accompany the display, Merseyside-based international artist, Leo Fitzmaurice, who has been resident at the Bluecoat for over three years, has curated a collection of historical exhibitions and other images for our online archive.

Accompanying the exhibition is an online programme that will contribute to a conversation around artistic practice in the Liverpool City Region.

Laura Brown, co-author of a recent report on studio provision in the city region, will be developing a short film inviting a range of artists and art studios to share their experiences. This will inform a discursive event in October, considering the challenges and opportunities that artists and art studios in the city region face.