Offcanvas Wave

Get in touch

Venture Arts, 43 Old Birley Street, Manchester, M15 5RF

+44 0161 232 1223

We’re always happy to hear from journalists and writers who are interested in Venture Arts and our work. Please contact Debbie Cowley, Marketing and Communications Officer, on 0161 232 1223 or email


The Conversations Series

Three racks of colourful fancy dress costume.

The Conversations Series is a programme of residencies that brings artists together to create new work in a shared exchange of art and ideas.

This programme develops collaborative, reciprocal learning and creative exchanges between our studio artists and artists who have responded to an open call.

Through this, we open conversations and new dialogues about the role of art in contemporary society, giving artists time and space to make new collaborative work.

Colourful, repetitive lines of text.

Conversations Series I:
OutsiderXchanges, 2016-17

This pioneering project was set up in partnership with Manchester’s Castlefield Gallery and the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead. Over six months, twelve artists based in Manchester and Newcastle shared a studio and collaborated as equals to produce experimental new artworks.

This project culminated in a series of exhibitions and events at nationally significant arts venues including BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and the Whitworth.

Andrew johnstone untitled 2019 posca pen on cartridge paper30x42cm andrews interpretation of john powell jones beast costume 320x450 image

Conversations Series II:
Other Transmissions, 2018-19

Building on the legacy of OutsiderXchanges, in October 2018 Venture Arts launched Conversations Series II in partnership with Castlefield Gallery and the Whitworth. This collaborative residency brought together three studio artists from Venture Arts to work alongside three visual artists from further afield.

The group developed and shared ideas, created new work, and reflected on the labels placed upon us by society – using the Whitworth’s extensive outsider art collection, The Musgrave Kinley Outsider Art Collection (MKOAC) as a starting point. The artists went on to show their brilliant collaborations alongside pieces from the collection at Artlink Hull, Tate Liverpool and the Whitworth Gallery.

Two paintings hung on a white wall with a class case displaying ceramics in front of them.

Conversations Series III:
Narratives, 2022-23

This project brought twelve artists together for whom personal narratives around heritage are central to their work. The project culminated in a major exhibition at the Lowry in January 2023 and was a partnership between Venture Arts, Castlefield Gallery and the Lowry, with support from Explorers Project, Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Centre and Manchester Jewish Museum.

Get involved

Venture Arts, 43 Old Birley Street, Manchester, M15 5RF

+44 0161 232 1223