Chester Visual Arts - Statement of Objectives

Chester Visual Arts (CVA) is an initiative instigated by an independent group of business and arts leaders to address the lack of provision for the production and presentation of contemporary visual arts in the City.

Recent research and planning in relation to the development of the City has identified the importance of the cultural offer and the lack of credible provision for visual arts that would attract visual arts practitioners of national and international repute.

Alongside the development of STORYHOUSE and the City’s high visitor numbers, who have an established cultural interest, it is clear that there is a significant resident and visiting audience to support ambitious, engaging national and international visual art experiences.

The infrastructure weakness in support of emerging practitioners has also been highlighted and, with a significant population of visual arts’ graduates leaving the city to better-resourced environments, in the region and beyond, valuable creative talent is lost.

As significantly, there are many long established, experienced, locally-based professional artists, well known nationally and internationally, who have no “home” or proper standing in the City and are forced to exhibit and sell in other parts of the UK and abroad.

The agenda for CVA is to find the most effective means to solve these gaps in cultural provision and the basic aims of Chester Visual Arts for the City are, therefore, to :

• Realise the ambition of a permanent public visual arts gallery of regional and national significance, to address the lack of such provision and also as a means of generating additional high value tourism.
• Achieve national and international reach.
• Devise a strategy which recognises we are starting from a low base.
• Raise awareness of the visual arts and the quality of the offer, by providing a regular programme of high quality events and exhibitions.
• Co-ordinate visual arts activity and corral the various vested interests (many of whom are now represented in the CVA team) for the good of the City as a whole.
• Become the “go to” place for the visual arts, to motivate, engage, make things happen and facilitate.
• Champion cultural innovation and devise comprehensive arts education and community programmes.
• Create and facilitate a support structure for artists, to encourage retention of skills.
• Along the path to the realisation of the Public Gallery, to provide signature space, short, medium and long term, by unlocking existing heritage and other buildings and creating new venues.
• Attract public and private sector funding to achieve these aims.
• Work closely with CWaC and CGP to co-ordinate with the public sector ambitions.

As the founding members of the CVA organisation we have, cultural economic, curatorial, business, estate management, legal and property development expertise.

We are determined to be the catalyst to create a thriving visual arts environment in the City of Chester that will be recognised for its ambition and contribution to the development of contemporary visual arts at a national and international level.

Ian Short
Chairman, Chester Visual Arts

CKW233, Kingsway Campus, Chester, CH2 2LB
t: 01244 515600