The Exchange is a major contemporary art space in the centre of Penzance that opened in 2007 in conjunction with renovations to Newlyn Art Gallery. Together the galleries present contemporary work in all media by regional, national and international artists, with a programme of events, activities and education.
Newly Art Gallery opened in 1895 as a result of the support of the Le Grice family, who gifted the land, and the philanthropist John Passmore Edwards. After presenting contemporary art here for more than 110 years, in 2007 we redeveloped the existing Newlyn site and acquired Penzance’s former telephone exchange close to the town centre. This enabled us to expand our programme ambitions, providing new space to better reflect the diversity of current artists’ practice in Cornwall, the UK and internationally. Read more about our recent track record in access and excellence in creativity and culture.
But our buildings and spaces are just means to an end. Inspired by the principles of John Passmore Edwards, our real focus, informed by the experience of the last three years, is on the change we can make for the communities we serve. We have exciting plans to build on all we learnt. Find out more here.
Like Passmore Edwards, we believe that art can change lives for the better and are committed to exploring the role of artists and arts organisations in addressing today’s great social challenges and environmental realities, in ways that measurably improve lives across our communities.
WHO WE WORK WITH
In recent years, our work in this area has made great strides. The Covid pandemic led us to adapt our work to address the urgent needs of local and, on occasions, global communities, embracing digital technologies like never before and drawing on our extensive networks with national organisations, from the Arts Council Collection to the National Portrait Gallery, and local partners including Newlyn School, Mounts Bay Academy, Intercom Trust, WILD Young Parents Project, and social prescribing networks.
Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange is an educational arts charity, an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation, and a Cornwall Council Strategic Arts Client. It is also a founding member of Plus Tate, a network of leading visual arts organisations across the UK that works to increase public value and to broaden and deepen engagement in art. Map of Plus Tate partners
The Exchange is located off historic Chapel Street, within easy walking distance of the bus and train stations. There is a well-stocked book and gift shop plus a café serving snacks and light lunches. Well behaved dogs are welcome to both venues, but may not be allowed in the exhibition spaces during certain shows.