Chester Visual Arts

Vicky Andrews

Founded in 2016 by Cynthia and Ian Short, Chester Visual Arts (CVA) is a charity that has brought world-class exhibitions to some of Chester’s most iconic buildings.

In addition to Grosvenor Estate, Chester Cathedral and The University of Chester, Cynthia and Ian have worked closely with the Victoria & Albert Museum to put on pop-events which prove that there’s a demand for a permanent public art gallery in the city.

Pop Art in Print, their first collaboration with the V&A, brought together an international collection of pop graphics, featuring artists Andy Warhol, Patrick Caulfield, Richard Hamilton, Allen Jones, Roy Lichtenstein and Ed Ruscha. To attract such an internationally-renowned exhibition to The Old Library on Northgate Street was a major achievement and inspired further takeovers of Chester’s public buildings and spaces.

In 2018, Liz West’s Our Colour Reflection brought visual arts to a wider audience, with an immersive exhibition in The Chapter House of Chester Cathedral. Speaking at the time of the event, the artist explained “I want to see it in a place of worship, where people go and spend time and maybe look at it differently than when it’s in an art gallery context…the more you look at it, the more time you spend with it, the more you see.”

Chester Visual Arts teamed up with the V&A in 2019 for another exhibition at The Old Library, this time exploring how our lives are defined by digital technologies. Chance and Control – Art in the Age of Computers featured work by pioneering digital artists such as Frieder Nake and Georg Nees, right through to the younger generation of creatives.

In 2022 a lecture series titled ‘Radical Times, Radical Change’ saw the likes of Keith Lodwick, Colin Wiggins and Susanna Brown speak on everything from art in the age of computers to the relationship between light and colour.

CVA’s passion for the arts has cemented Chester’s reputation as a cultural centre for the North West and there is clearly an appetite in the city for more permanent exhibition spaces.

The charity continues to develop its plans to put on quality events, support artists and encourage community engagement, with more projects to be revealed.

Northgate StreetChesterCH1 2HX View map
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Opening Hours

  • Wednesday11:00am - 5:00pm
  • Thursday11:00am - 5:00pm
  • Friday11:00am - 5:00pm
  • Saturday11:00am - 5:00pm
  • Sunday11:00am - 5:00pm

Always double check opening hours with the venue before making a special visit.

What's on near Chester Visual Arts

Old Dock Tours, Liverpool

The Old Dock tour is a treat for younger and older visitors alike, fans of Liverpool’s maritime past, and anybody curious about local history.

£8.50 with concessions

Where to go near Chester Visual Arts

Tourist Attraction
Chester Visitor Information Centre

This is the meeting point for Tours Around Chester who offer a variety of tours ranging from food walking, running and themed running (including beer or gin).

Storyhouse, Chester

Chester’s Storyhouse houses two theatres, a cinema, library, restaurant and bars within a rejuvenated art deco building.

Chester Indoor Market
Shopping Centre
Chester Indoor Market

Recipient of the Best Small Indoor Market at The Great British Market Awards 2020, Chester Market offers foods from around the world.

The Cheese Shop, Chester
The Cheese Shop

The Cheese Shop has been a source of speciality cheeses in Chester for 25 years and has over 200 different cow, goat and ewe cheeses available -including pasteurised, unpasteurised and vegetarian varieties.

Chester Cathedral
Place of worship
Chester Cathedral

Chester Cathedral is a living community of prayer and worship, and a centre of excellence in Church Music with a rich and fascinating heritage.

Covino Restaurant, Chester

Covino is a small owner-run wine bar & restaurant in the heart of Chester. They serve an ever-changing menu of seasonally inspired small plates, guided by the quality and provenance of ingredients, with a real focus on simplicity and flavour.

Event venue
Alexander’s Live

Established in 1991, Alexander’s puts on an amazing range of live music including jazz, blues, soul, roots and rock, comedy & drama. Alexander’s is famous for the alternative comedy nights every Saturday.

Joseph Benjamin
Joseph Benjamin

Joseph Benjamin is a Chester restaurant and delicatessen set inside the Chester city walls on Northgate Street.

Whitmore & White
Whitmore & White

Whitmore & White is an award-winning deli and independent wine merchant in the heart of romantic Chester serving a plethora of charcuterie, cheeses and confectionery.

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