The Community Art Project

The Community Art Project is an innovative and ground-breaking project that has been part of Darlington Borough Council's services for adults with learning disabilities since 2004. It evolved from an artist residency project that was initiated by Artists Agency (now Helix Arts) and the local NHS Trust. It is now based at The Bridge, Visual Arts Centre on Hundens Lane.

The project provides an opportunity for adults with learning disabilities to try out various visual arts activities with support and encouragement from a professional artist.

The work is based around each individual's preferences, skills and needs. People are encouraged to make their own choices and decisions, to work at their own pace and to the best of their abilities, increasing their level of ambition as their confidence develops.

The resulting artwork is regularly exhibited at various venues in the region and beyond. Service users have had work exhibited in Glasgow, London, Newcastle, Stockton, Bishop Auckland, Newton Aycliffe and Billingham as well as numerous exhibitions in Darlington.

Presented in a professional manner and in the context of a mixed contemporary programme of exhibitions, the artwork regularly attracts favourable reviews and positive feedback and is frequently sold to private buyers.

Over twenty service users had work selected in the previous Dover Biennial exhibitions and five artists formed part of the Earth Vision project that toured exhibition venues in Germany, Austria and Italy. The CAP has work on display at the Town Hall and the Head Offices of Darlington Building Society and it has also had artwork on show in Pizza Express restaurant in Darlington and Daisies Cafe. In 2016 Stephen Muszynski's painting 'Self portrait as an Artist' was selected as part of the 'My Life' Shape Open Exhibition at Guest Projects Space in London, hosted by Shape Open Patron Yinka Shonibare MBE. Stephen Muszynski was also ‘Artist of the Month’ on the Outside In website in December 2016.

If you would like more information about the CAP including enquiries about viewing or purchasing artwork, please contact or telephone 01325 243864

Current and forthcoming exhibitions

Great Exhibition of the North The Community Art Project organised day trips to see various exhibitions that form part of the Great Exhibition of the North in Newcastle and Gateshead. We visited Baltic, the Hatton Gallery, the Great North Museum and the Shipley Art Gallery. Some of the highlights included artworks by Damien Hirst, George Stubbs, Cornelia Parker, Grayson Perry, Fred Uhlman, Michael Dean, Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen, Ryan Gander, Aardman animations and the Beatles! A total of twenty two service users enjoyed the trips on three separate days in July 2018 and we hope to return for more inspiration before the end of the summer.

Previous exhibitions

The latest Community Art Project exhibition takes place at the gallery at Crown Street Library in Darlington. The exhibition opens on Saturday 31st March and continues until 17th May 2018.

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A number of artists from the Community Art Project also have work on display at the Greenfield Arts Centre in Newton Aycliffe. Their Open Exhibition continues until April 18th. See [external link] for more details.

New York, New York!

Fifteen artists from the CAP will have works included in the ‘Et Tu, Art Brute?’ exhibition at the Andrew Edlin Gallery in New York. The exhibition ran from November 17th 2017 until January 28th 2018.

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Andrew Edlin Gallery is one of the world’s leading galleries of outsider art. ‘Et Tu, Art Brute?’ is a special project organised by curator and writer Jamie Sterns.

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A selection of art work from the Community Art Project was on display in Darlington Building Society's branch on Tubwell Row in Darlington town centre. The exhibition ran from Friday 28 July until Friday 29 September and was open to the public.

A selection of art work from the Community Art Project was on display in Darlington Building Society's branch on Tubwell Row in Darlington town centre. The exhibition ran from Friday 28 July until Friday 29 September and was open to the public.

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All the artists from the Community Art Project are taking part in the 'Blimey X' exhibition in the Cornmill Shopping Centre in Darlington. The show features hundreds of postcard sized artworks and is open to the public on Saturday 8th July and Sunday 9th July from 10 am - 4 pm in the unit next to the HMV store. The organisers selected ten entries which will be printed as postcards and two artists from the Community Art Project - Steven Hardy and Stephen Muszynski, were among the chosen few.

A selection of work from the CAP can also be seen at The Bridge as part of it's summer show which ran until 11th August 2017

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The Community Art Project currently had a selection of art work on display at the Crown Street Gallery in Darlington. The exhibition was extended until 25 July.

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This will be followed by an exhibition at Darlington Building Society, Tubwell Row. 1 August – 28 September 2017

The Community Art Project recently organised day trips for its service users to visit The Laing Gallery in Newcastle, Greenfield Arts Centre and Bowes Museum

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Selected CAP Exhibitions and events

  • CAP Darlington Arts Centre numerous exhibitions until 2012
  • LDAF London 2006
  • Orleans House Gallery, Twickenham London 2006
  • Uncanny, McGuiness Gallery, Bishop Auckland 2006
  • Project Ability Glasgow 2007
  • Earth Vision tour 2008
  • CAP Greenfield Gallery 2010
  • Dover Prize Biennial, Darlington Arts Centre 2010
  • Pizza Express, Darlington 2011
  • Daisies Café, Darlington 2011
  • Dover Prize Biennial 2012
  • Greenfield Open 2013
  • Abode Greenfield Art Centre, Aycliffe 2013
  • CAP Crown St Gallery 2013
  • Darlington Building Society 2013
  • Greenfield Open 2014
  • CAP The Bridge 2014
  • CAP Crown St Gallery 2015
  • Greenfield Open 2015
  • CAP The Bridge 2015
  • My Life, Shape Open 2016, Guest Project Space, London
  • CAP Crown St Gallery 2016
  • CAP The Bridge 2016
  • Greenfield Open 2017
  • Crown St Gallery 2017


Created with flickr slideshow.

This is a Flickr gallery

If you cannot see the above slideshow please follow this link [external link] to see the Community Art Project Submissions