Mayor Marvin Rees has opened two brand new art spaces at City Hall to showcase Bristol talent and give cultural and community groups unique environments to display their work.

The new spaces sit within City Hall’s vestibules; former entrances located at either end of the building. They will be used to provide space for groups to share their projects and ideas through exhibitions, performances, cinemas and pop up art markets. Bristol City Council’s Arts Development Team have joined up with local charity and art space experts Artspace Lifespace (ASLS) to invite local groups to express their interest in taking advantage of this unique opportunity. 

“Talent should be encouraged to flourish whenever the opportunity arises and this is why I have taken the step of opening up City Hall’s vestibules to art groups,” said Marvin. “Bristol’s arts and culture sector is a valued part of our local economy and this is a new way to support the industry. I am eager to explore alternative ways of supporting the sector as we take control of the financial challenges affecting direct council investment. I am delighted to work in partnership with Artspace Lifespace in this new venture and look forward to welcoming individuals and groups to showcase their work. I hope it will provide meaningful opportunities for aspiring and accomplished artists alike.”

city hall

Exhibiting first will be local group alldaybreakfast with ‘Unlocked’, a Creative Seed Council funded project. The exhibition aims to engage audiences in discussion about mental health through art. Working as artists in residence at the Glenside Hospital Museum (which was formerly known as the Bristol Lunatic Asylum in the 1800s) the group developed the exhibition using the museum’s exhibits to unlock their history and encourage audiences to question common stereotypes about mental health.

The show is supported by the Arts Council and Bristol City Council. “We’re delighted to have this opportunity to work with the Council’s Arts Development Team to bring to life these two amazing and unique spaces,” said Dina Ntziora at Artspace Lifespace. “Our aim is to contribute to the vitality and security of the city’s cultural landscape by providing opportunities for talent to flourish. What better way to do that than bring cultural and community groups together in one of Bristol’s most famous locations. I would like to thank the Mayor for this chance and look forward to seeing the vestibules come to life. We look forward to hearing from all arts organisations, groups, community groups and individual artists in the City on their ideas and proposals for The Vestibules.”

Anybody wanting further information regarding The Vestibules availability or interested in displaying work and/or volunteer should email or follow Artspace Lifespace on Twitter @ASLS_UK. The exhibition will remain open from 20 to 24 February, 10am to 3am daily.

Visit Bristol Council’s Art Development page here or follow them on Twitter @BristolArtsDev