Departure Lounge is a contemporary art gallery and project space founded in Luton in 2010 by current director Matthew Shaul and collaborator Trevor Horsewood. Established at the height of the financial crisis, with the aim of bringing ‘New Art to New Places’, Departure Lounge was originally set up using vacant retail premises and has played a small but significant role in maintaining footfall and economic activity in Luton’s town centre. Since September 2016 the gallery has occupied the ‘Storefront’, a former hat factory on Bute Street.

Departure Lounge develops experimental programming, signature exhibition and project opportunities with emerging and established contemporary artists based in the UK and internationally. The programme is curated and managed by director, Matthew Shaul who is best known for his work within documentary, landscape and portrait photography. Notable curatorial projects include; Käthe Buchler - ‘Beyond the Battlefields’ (2018), John Myers - ‘The World is Not Beautiful’ (2016) and ‘Do Not Refreeze’ (2007)- a major survey of documentary photography produced in the former East Germany. Performative, socially engaged and sculptural practices have played an increasingly important role in the programming since 2016, which marked the beginning of a collaboration with Luton Culture on As You Change, So Do I, a public realm arts programme under the artistic leadership of Mark Titchner.

Thanks to:
Aleksandra Warchol Photography, Arts Council England, The Culture Trust, Hazel Foxon Arts Communications, Luton Arts Fund, Luton Council and Trevor Horsewood.

Unsolicited Proposals

The majority of Departure Lounge’s exhibitions result from direct invitations to artists and curators. However, if you feel that your proposal could be well positioned within the programme and aligns with the Gallery’s aims and ambitions, proposals can be sent to or mailed to the Gallery. Proposals should comprise of:

1. A selection of 10-15 images, or documentation of artwork, clearly labelled. Please do not send original artworks.

2. A completed exhibition proposal form (downloaded here)

3. A CV and background information about yourself

Please note: Departure Lounge is funded on a project-by-project basis, with those proposing projects responsible for their own fundraising. All unsolicited proposals will need to include a fundraising strategy.

Speculative proposals are reviewed on an annual basis, artists will only be contacted after the work has been considered and a decision has been reached.
Storefront, 64 Bute Street,
Luton, LU1 2EY

In partnership with The Culture Trust

Thursday, Friday, Saturday
13.00 - 18.00   

The Gallery is temporarily closed to help protect against Coronavirus.

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Departure Lounge Contemporary Art
Community Interest Company
Registered company no. 12578844