The Exeter gallery Spacex has announced that it is threatened with closure.
A statement on its website says: ‘We’re saddened to announce that Spacex is threatened with imminent closure due to recent funding cuts. Spacex will continue to receive financial support from Exeter City Council, and we are now concentrating intensively on fundraising to ensure a future for Spacex.’
Speaking to a-n, acting director Nicola Hood said: “We are currently developing plans to respond to this situation with a programme of projects that will continue to see us deliver high quality commissions, participation and learning opportunities.”
Spacex opened in 1974 and runs a programme of contemporary visual art exhibitions and education. But the gallery lost its Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation status for the 2015-18 funding period. Over the three-year 2012-15 period, the gallery received ACE funding of nearly £550,000.
The gallery will issue a statement about future plans soon.
Messages of support
A space for messages of support and donations has been set up on the Spacex website and a number of supportive comments have been posted since the gallery announced its situation yesterday.
Artist Ben Langworthy writes: ‘Spacex is one of the very few bedrocks for the support and promotion of contemporary art in the south west…its loss would be a huge blow to the culture of the region.’
Arts researcher Laura Breen says that Spacex ‘supports practitioners whose work sits at the border of different disciplines. If [it] wasn’t there to take those risks we’d be deprived of the opportunity to engage with this work which dares to be different.’
Paul Ramsay comments: ‘Exeter is lucky to have, and needs to retain, Spacex as a leading cultural artspace in the South West… The council needs to recognise this and get behind the fight to save Spacex.’
Eleanor Carr meanwhile simply says: ‘Please keep going’.
To leave a messages of support and/or make a donation to Spacex, go to spacex.org.uk/support-spacex
Scott King’s exhibition De-Regeneration opens at Spacex 4 October 2014. spacex.org.uk