Throughout 2019, the Vide space within the Bluecoat gallery will be hosting exhibitions about their long history as an arts centre.
Bluecoat was the first arts centre in the UK. Formalised in 1927 with the establishment of Bluecoat Society of Arts, this followed two decades of activities organised by a group of artists, the Sandon Studios Society, who had moved into the building in 1907.
On display are posters of exhibitions and events, photographs of gallery installations and performances, and printed material relating to Bluecoat programmes including exhibition brochures and invitation cards. The exhibition continues upstairs with a video documenting a selection of events from the1960s to 2008 and posters from exhibitions by women artists who have shown at Bluecoat.
A heritage display along the ground floor corridor by the Vide also features past arts programmes. Bluecoat’s arts history is revealed on its archive website https://mybluecoat.org.uk/home