The Arts Institute – public arts programme

In Loco Parentis, Vincent Dance Theatre

Making It season

This season we explore what ‘making it’ means in 2021? From the act of moulding and shaping an idea or physical artwork, to what it means to ‘make it’ as an artist, we uncover some of the innovative creators and activists who played a part in the evolution of the arts and culture we enjoy today.  

The Making It season also introduces a new series of talks exploring anthropology, the study of material culture. By examining the commonalities of humans across the world, we can better understand the nature and extent of our diversity as a species, and ultimately discover more about ourselves.

The Arts Institute is the curated public arts programme of the University of Plymouth which plays a pivotal role in building culture and art in the city and South West region, supporting established, new and emerging artists from around the world.

It comprises The Levinsky Gallery, a space for engaging, contemporary artworks; the Jill Craigie Cinema which screens a diverse range of classic films and contemporary cinematic masterpieces; a cutting-edge theatre and dance programme in The House; musical performances and concerts, and a year-long series of fascinating talks that open up a world of art, literature and history.

Open to everybody.

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Our commitment to the safe enjoyment of the arts during the Covid-19 pandemic means that this season's online events are free for you to enjoy at home.

The Arts Institute relies on income to develop and deliver a public programme, which not only promotes audience engagement and access to the arts, but also directly supports emerging and established artists' careers and the creation of new content.

In place of the price of a ticket, please consider a donation to The Arts Institute.

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Thank you for your support.

Plymouth Contemporary 2021

An open submission exhibition providing a platform for both emerging creative talent and more established artists working nationally and internationally. The exhibition will run across The Levinsky Gallery from 19 March–23 May 2021, and KARST from 13 May–3 July 2021.

Theme: Making It. Plymouth Contemporary invites artists to open up, interrogate, unpick and shake out what 'Making It' might mean in terms of contemporary art practice in 2021. 

Learn more about the exhibition

What Would You Do?' Bo Lanyon, Plymouth Contemporary 2017

What Would You Do?' Bo Lanyon, Plymouth Contemporary 2017

Beethoven: Innovator - a 250th celebration

4-6 March 2021

Join us for an inspiring three-day festival dedicated to some of Beethoven’s most innovative works, with Dr Robert Taub, acclaimed pianist and Music Director, The Arts Institute. Our celebration of Beethoven's 250th birthday will feature a series of concerts, fascinating informal lectures, and the world premiere of a new commission from leading international composer, Jonathan Dawe, based on Beethoven's sketches and performed by the Ruisi String Quartet.

Everywhere: Life in a littered world

22 November 2020 – 31 January 2021

What might the future look like in our littered world? Are there ways that humans, animals and plants can co-exist with or even prosper amongst the rubbish? And what will it take to clean up our act?

This online exhibition presents works by international artists who explore everyday practices of littering and consider its effects.

Everywhere is launched alongside the international conference MICRO2020 which explores the fate and impacts of microplastics in the environment.

Explore the exhibition

red heart - green heart, D. Taylor

red heart - green heart, D. Taylor

Kehinde Wiley: Ship of Fools

The Levinsky Gallery unfortunately remains temporarily closed until further notice in line with government guidelines regarding COVID-19.

29 September 2020–24 January 2021
When confronted with large bodies of water, a duality is often experienced: we are in fact at once attracted to but also frightened by the unknown.

New York-based artist Kehinde Wiley's mode of enquiry, and his interest in the portrayal and modulation of power will be explored through the works on show, which also include paintings and sculpture. The exhibition aims to investigate the ways in which the artist masterfully uses traditional representation to challenge power relations and art historical norms. Curated by The Box in partnership with The Arts Institute and Royal Museums Greenwich.

Find out more and plan your visit

Kehinde Wiley, Narrenschiff, 2017, Three-channel digital film. Duration: 16.40 minutes. Copyright Kehinde Wiley. Courtesy of Stephen Friedman Gallery

Kehinde Wiley, Narrenschiff, 2017, Three-channel digital film. Duration: 16.40 minutes. Copyright Kehinde Wiley. Courtesy of Stephen Friedman Gallery


Join the conversation on Twitter:

Word is...

  • t "Some truly incredible works here; and well worth a visit." Mark Jessett
  • f "Blissful sheer escapism." Alexandra Miranda
  • t "Fantastic opportunity to see established and up and coming artists! Amazing space." Jason Brownlee
  • . "Absolutely stunning exhibition. Thank you so much for bringing it to Plymouth." Carly Seller on 'Thinking Tantra'
  • t "Was a very fascinating talk from a very fascinating man" @LilMussRuin on 'In Conversation with Peter Greenaway'
  • A "A hidden gem"

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