Collaborations between: art, technology, sustainability and community have found their feet firmly under the table at Convention House. A former nunnery turned not-so-blank canvas, Convention House completes a trio of buildings that form East Street Arts’ forever home on St.Mary’s Lane, Mabgate. Patrick Studios (East Street Arts’ HQ) and the Art Hostel (unique accommodation and social enterprise) sit just across the road housing over 40 artist studios and 60 commercial beds.
Impressive in effort, the building holds two exhibition spaces, dedicated learning areas and several artist studios. Artists, technologists and social entrepreneurs collaborate with: audiences, participants and neighbours to create innovative work. Convention House is as much a work in progress as the projects and peers it houses and encourages placemaking and permanence from those that partake – creating a circular economy for the next generation of resident artists. Convention House residencies continue to blueprint how the space is curated, accessed and delivered as initially proposed.
At Convention House you can: make, present, learn, collaborate, test, experiment, innovate and more.
Facilities include, but are not limited to:
- Macs / PC’s
- Digital cameras
- Audio and visual video editing equipment
- Design and photo editing software
- Electronics lab and microcontrollers
- 3D scanning
- 3D printer
- Ceramic 3D printer
- Laser cutter
- Sustainable dark room
- Hand tools: for woodwork
- Pottery (wheels/slab rollers/kilns inc. Raku/ jigger & jolly machine
- Printmaking equipment
- Risograph printers
Convention House is dressed in repurposed furniture, fixtures and fittings. Wherever possible, sustainable ways of working are prioritised to reduce the impact of materials and processes that negatively contribute to the global climate crisis. A technological hub, Convention House has begun monitoring the carbon footprint of digital platforms, both old and new across. Technology and the digital are inherently political in terms of access, inclusion and wider socio-economic contexts, and we aim to address this by broadening access whilst encouraging those who engage with the space to think about tackling these barriers within the context of their work.
Convention House was made possible through grants from Leeds Tech Fund and a Small Capital Grant from Arts Council England. The purchase and redevelopment was made possible thanks to £550,000 of investment from the Leeds Tech Hub Fund from Leeds City Council. In addition to this, we received £400,000 from Arts Council England to carry out extensive refurbishment work and introduce an extension to the property. The building has five stories including the basement floor, ground floor, first floor, second floor and third floor – all accessible by lift. It has one main entrance to the front of the building with a dropped curb to facilitate access.