Venture Arts launch OutsiderXchanges


In collaboration with Castlefield Gallery, BALTIC and the Contemporary Visual Arts Network (CVAN), Venture Arts has launched its pioneering collaborative visual art project OutsiderXchanges – to coincide with Chorlton Arts Festival.

Photo of two artists seen from behind, placing sculptural objects on green matting

Leslie Thompson putting work together for the OutsiderXchanges exhibition

The project brings together learning disabled and non-learning disabled artists to develop shared ideas and new contemporary work in a unique environment based on collaboration, reciprocal learning and creative exchange.

The project is a perfect fit for CVAN’s goal to nurture contemporary visual artists and organisations in order to produce internationally regarded, critically engaged work. Acclaimed artist Tanya Raabe Webber (Project Ability, DASH) and James Pollitt (Venture Arts) are working alongside 11 emerging artists from Manchester and Gateshead to create a discourse around a contemporary learning disability arts and cultural aesthetic that challenges pre-conceived ideas and engages a wider audience.

The artists have been working together since March at an independent studio space, New Art Spaces, in Chorlton, Manchester run by Castlefield Gallery

The project will culminate in September 2016 with a showcase at the Manchester Contemporary and a symposium at the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead with more exhibitions to be announced.

Throughout the summer the public will be given opportunities to visit the OutsiderXchanges studio space and witness the creative process in action.

Tanya Raabe-Webber says of OutsiderXchanges

“This unique pioneering studio project has opened up collaborations never thought possible and has created a perfect balance between learning disability arts practice and mainstream contemporary arts practice.”

Amanda Sutton, Manager of Venture Arts says

“Now seemed like the perfect time to launch OutsiderXchanges. We are now at an exciting time in the process where collaborations are emerging, and we are seeing a hint at the exciting and innovative art works to come.”

photo of an artist kneeling on the floor with a large multicoloured poster, smiling at the camera

Barry Edward Finan creating an artwork for OutsiderXchanges

For more information on the project contact Venture Arts on or phone 0161 232 1223