Theatre Royal Plymouth is well placed as a venue for the presentation of the visual arts. Its contemporary architecture offers a symbiotic relationship with work from the Plymouth Society of Artists. Set in the heart of the city the venue is a vibrant and active hub for the performing arts that attracts an audience beyond its usual theatrical events. The theatre boasts a restaurant and bar open to the public beyond the theatre-goers and the concourse areas provide an enviable space for the display of contemporary art.
It is a number of years since the Society last showed at the venue and the curatorial expertise of Artmill Gallery has bridged the intervening two decades with a vibrant and engaging display. This mirrors a broader view of what the PSA has offered over its lifetime.
From its formation the aim of the Society was, and remains, to encourage and foster a professional outlook in the visual arts for the benefit of Plymouth and Plymothians. Originally, membership was to be restricted to those living in the city, or with strong ties to it. That aim, in itself, was simple but in the nigh-on eighty years that have passed there have been many and varied interpretations given to it and, equally varied, the exhibits. There have been numerous changes that have taken place during this time, particularly in the external influences that prompt the work of the professional artist.
Extended mobility has allowed many more practitioners to be within easy striking distance of the city rather than be restricted to within its boundary. This has been responsible for the changed face of the Society, probably more so than any other factor, and unquestionably brings a clear distinction from both the Society's formation and Plymouth’s phoenix years.