25th Anniversary of Catalyst Arts

In 1993 a group of MFA graduates from the Belfast School of Art began to organise exhibitions, exchanges and events in the city, calling their new artist-led project Catalyst Arts.  They established a non-hierarchical structure, naming themselves joint co-directors, and agreed that a director would stay for 2 years and then pass the gauntlet to someone else.

In accordance with its constitution, Catalyst is run by unpaid volunteers and seeks to adopt a poly-vocal strategy towards the promotion of contemporary art practices, by showcasing artists and projects from the widest possible range of disciplines.


A quarter of a century and almost 100 co-directors later, the current committee present a programme of events to celebrate Catalyst’s 25th anniversary.  In the gallery a wealth of material from the Catalyst archive will be on display, woven together with contributions from past directors.  The exhibition is a way to make visible Catalyst’s impact on the field of contemporary art practice over the past two and half decades, especially in the UK and Ireland.

Alongside the exhibition will be a talk on Catalyst’s extensive but incomplete archive, a walking tour of previous Catalyst locations and a Symposium examining artist-led practices from around the UK and Ireland.

24 November 3 – 5pm  | Symposium Session 1  | The MAC
1 December 3 – 5pm  | Symposium Session 2  | The Black Box
6 December 7pm  | Catalyst Walks – 25 Years  | beginning at Catalyst Arts

25 Years of Catalyst Arts is kindly supported by The Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Belfast City Council.

Catalyst Arts
5 College Court
Northern IrelandBT1 6BS

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New Belfast Community Arts Initiative trading as Community Arts Partnership is a registered charity (XR 36570) and a company limited by guarantee (Northern Ireland NI 37645).Registered with The Charity Commission as New Belfast Community Arts Initiative - NIC105169.