With a 19th century former natural history museum and a contemporary white cube to fuel its engine, Talbot Rice Gallery is dedicated to exploring how the University of Edinburgh can contribute to contemporary art production today and into the future. Solo exhibitions provide international artists with access to University research and collections, whilst conceptual group exhibitions foreground key political and social issues. Exploring frontiers in the age of Brexit, raising the volume on female self-empowerment, or using the ‘extended mind’ in contemporary art to reframe cognition, Talbot Rice Gallery positions itself at the forefront of research and creative practice.
Since 2018 the Talbot Rice Residents have been a major part the Talbot Rice Gallery and Edinburgh College of Art community. Each year for five years, five new emerging artists from Scotland join the programme, which they then continue for two years, with the programme contributing richly to the ecology of Edinburgh’s visual arts context. Talbot Rice Gallery plays an active role in Edinburgh College of Art, working with students throughout the year, engaging them in the programme and curatorial vision. The annual Trading Zone exhibition hunts for distinct practices across all the schools and artforms of Edinburgh College of Art.
Open to all and with free admission, Talbot Rice Gallery’s Outreach and Widening Participation programme ensures that these ideas and opportunities are shared with different community groups whilst also reaching new audiences. Aiming to embed a love and fascination for art within people of all ages, this includes primary schools, prisons and homelessness networks.
As well as being one of Scotland’s leading contemporary art platforms, curating exhibitions every year for Edinburgh’s festivals, Talbot Rice Gallery is also part of a unique family of international University Galleries, and enjoys partnerships with organisations such as Monash University Museum of Art and University of Bath's The Edge & Andrew Brownsword Gallery, through touring and co-production.