Vault Artist Studios

Safe & Sound

Vault Artist Studios is a group of artists working across many disciplines. We are visual artists, musicians, puppeteers, photographers, film-makers, bee-keepers and writers. We took over an old Ulster Bank in early 2017 knowing that we would only have the building for one year. The temporary lease gave us the motivation to make something different and exciting happen.   Now we are growing…

Our Vision

Vault Artist Studios are a community driven, not for profit arts charity. Our mission is to provide affordable art studios for creatives working across a wide variety of art forms.


Hundreds of commercial and industrial buildings are vacant and decaying all over Belfast. Many long-term empty properties stay that way for years, even decades. We were established in 2017 to make use of these spaces and to provide a platform for artistic talent to flourish.


We strive for variety and diversity in our make up and see our multidisciplinary nature as our main strength in building a community. This enables us to transform neighbourhoods, increase accessibility to the arts, and enrich the local communities around us.


In a short period of time; Vault Artists studios have become a major contributor to the cultural identity of Belfast. Adding to the creative narrative of the city.

A community of artists

We strive to promote collaborative working, skill sharing and participatory arts. This is fundamental to the dynamic of our creative community. We want to provide a context in which those who work across multiple disciplines may thrive. We nurture a culture of skill sharing and problem solving that crosses disciplines and boundaries. This enables members to develop and grow their creative practice in new and exciting ways and allows our community as a whole to shine. 

Artists in the community

Through workshops, open studios or live entertainment; our projects bring hundreds of visitors into our venues. Each individual project is a unique experience that lives long in the memory of those who join us. With a buzz of activity and creativity, our studios have become focal points for locals as we attract interest from the public and media. Our presence in otherwise empty buildings improves security of the site and stops the rate of decay as we maintain and improve facilities inside. Stalled spaces exacerbate decline, vacant buildings shouldn’t lay empty and unused when the possibility of reactivation is within reach.

Vault Artist Studios

1 vacant building, 23 creatives, a load of bees & 12 months. Let's see what happens....

It began with a mysterious email…

In Late 2016, founding member Adam Turkington received the kind of out-of-the-blue email you might just scroll past but which contained an extraordinarily generous offer: would he be able to make use of an old Ulster Bank building in East Belfast for a year? 

23 artists came together, united by the twin ideas of building a community of artists, and making as much happen in one year as we possibly could. There would be monthly meetings, everyone would actively contribute towards the project, we would engage with the local community, we would make great art. Local people came and shared food, gained insight into the secretive working practices of artists. Learnt how to play the piano, watched beekeepers in action, listened to live music and shared our vision of placing the arts at the heart of the community.