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City Lit Gallery

The City Lit Gallery is a gallery uniquely positioned to be both an exhibition and teaching space for learners and the wider City Lit community. Opened in September 2019 by London Mayor Sadiq Khan this purpose built space takes advantage of the distinctive breadth of subjects taught on our courses as inspiration for exhibitions. Programmed annually, we encourage learners to take their work out of the studio and into the public sphere. At times the gallery is used as a teaching space, hosting group critiques and artist talks. A primarily non-commercial space, the gallery aims to celebrate, extend and make public the work of visual artists who come to City Lit to inspire their passions and realise their ambitions.

Exhibition programme

Props 'til you drop

November 2023

Work from students new and past

Out of Mind

October 2023

A new show by students as part of City Lit's Mental Wealth Festival 2023.


29 Jul 2023 – 3 Aug 2023

A new exhibition featuring work by thirteen painters on the City Lit Advanced Painting course. 


14 July – 21 July 2023

A new show by artists from our Extended Drawing for Artists and Makers course. 

City Lit Fine Art Year 2

7 July – 14 July 2023

A new show by artists from our City Lit Fine Art Year 2 course. 

Foundation Diploma in Art and Design

4 July – 9 July 2023

The Foundation Show at The Department Store in Brixton is a celebration of the outstanding work of 26 emerging artists and designers practicing across a wide range of disciplines including textiles, print, video, animation, painting, sculpture and more. 

Contemporary practice: personal project 

30 June – 7 July 2023

The artists of Contemporary Practice: Personal project present IIII IIII, an exhibition of painting, drawing, sculpture, print, textiles, collage, photography and mixed-media practice.

Advanced Children's Book Illustration

23 – 30 June 2023

A new show by artists from our Advanced Children's Book Illustration course. 

Told in Pieces    

16 – 23 June 

Told in Pieces presented the versatility of printmaking - from woodcut, etching to monotype, book design and sculpture. 


9 – 16 June 2023   

A new show by artists from our Advanced Figure and Portrait course. 

Chelsea Pensioners     

26 May – 2 June 2023   

City Lit students and Chelsea pensioners document life in the Royal Hospital Chelsea with a joint project.  

City Lit exhibitionCity Lit exhibition


2 – 12 May 2023   

‘Hear’ tells the story of hearing loss through the sculptural work of artist Shelley Wilson. Inspired by stories from learners in our community, the exhibition aims to draw attention to different types of hearing loss.  

Deaf Mosaic exhibitionDeaf Mosaic exhibition

Deaf Mosaic      

12 – 28 April 2023 

The UK deaf community is an astonishingly diverse mosaic of ethnicity, class, religion, sexual orientation and different occupations and interests. In his intimate portraits and stories, deaf photographer Stephen Iliffe shares a vital message: with the right support, deaf people can do anything. 

City Lit Ceramics: end of year show      

21 March – 11 April 2023  

Join us to celebrate the work of learners on our two term City Lit ceramics course.

Piece by Piece    

2 February – 2 March 2023

Piece by Piece aims to show the story behind the exhibit. Displaying exhibitors influences as they approach a new piece, we demonstrate the innocuous moments which contribute to the narrative of artworks. Countless decisions creatives make as they go, layering up materials, ideas, processes until they reach the moment of calm, when the artwork stops wriggling uncomfortably and sits in quiet, then whispers ‘that’s it, I’m done’.  

Tales of the Kiln  

12 – 29 January 2023 

16 artists with one aim - to create work that will engage us and, hopefully, our audience too. This is the start of a journey for some, whereas for others it is a reawakening of a long-held obsession. From diverse backgrounds, we bring different life experiences, careers, cultures and challenges to be overcome; tales that inform our work. 


29 November – 8 January

This exhibition brings together students from the Centre for Advanced Practice – School of Visual Arts at City Lit with MA Contemporary Photography; Practices and Philosophies at Central Saint Martins. The exhibition opened with a week-long live install, in which the group worked collaboratively, making within the gallery which will function as a makeshift studio, workshop, stage and exhibition venue. Work was developed through a series of lesson plans making public the teaching that would normally happen within the relative privacy of the studio or lecture theatre. All live events were documented and shown within the space together with any teaching materials providing an archive of the weeks’ activities. 

Paper Rock Scalpel

November 2022

Paper Rock Scalpel showcases work by students and staff from Book Arts, Bookbinding and Calligraphy courses at City Lit. The common material to each of the disciplines is paper, the scalpel cuts the paper and as you walk around the show, the Rock speaks for itself. 

Making Good and the Processing of Trauma Exhibition

with specially commissioned film Anamnesis by Monika Kita 

October 2022

This multi-media exhibition explores how the act of drawing might help to manage the way that traumatic events are processed. It is the culmination of a year-long research project into the visual, cognitive, motor and psychological aspects potentially involved and was funded by an Arts Council England Project Award.  The exhibition includes an immersive film Anamnesis by Monika Kita (Venice Biennale, BBC Shorts, East London Film Festival, Museum of Contemporary Art in Oaxaca, Mexico) commissioned as a response to the unfolding research. Read more about this exhibition on our blog.

Advanced Graphic Design Exhibition

October 2022

The exhibition features works made by the students throughout their year on the course. The aim of the course is to stretch and inform students on how graphics can be used and in what formats visual communications can take. Students grow in their confidences as they progress through the various projects and challenges, so that they become much more capable to process and create interesting graphics that they research and complete as professional designers. 

Advanced Painting Exhibition: End of Year Show

October 2022

Our group developed its identity over a full year (September to September) benefiting hugely from the intense two-day painting workshops, mentoring tutorials, and access to the print room.  We each came to the course with emerging research interests, looking to question the material means of painting, develop personal sensibilities, and engage with contemporary context and meaning in our respective practices.   

Children's Book Illustration Exhibition

September 2022

A group showcase presenting the exciting range of our advanced children's book illustration student drawings, paintings, dummy books and current projects. This course represents a final step in the journey towards a career in children's books. 

City Lit Departures WC2B Exhibition

September 2022

DEPARTURES WC2B is an exhibition of creative work by artists from City Lit’s Contemporary Practice: Personal Project course, including Didi Gaudron, Emma Parsons, Pippa Has Burnt All Her Work, Fiona Ledger, Fliff Carr, Ivan Scrase, Kate Rossini, Liz Day, Sophie Meyer, Susannah Goulding and Wendy Manel. 

Lost and Unloved Exhibition

August 2022

Starting with abandoned objects from the archive, this exhibition was developed to show off Basketry, Bookbinding, Ceramics, Textiles, Fashion fabrics, Jewellery and Laser cutting samples.

Basketry Show

July 2022

Sore Thumbs is the end of year exhibition for students completing the City Lit Basketry course.

Jewellery and Textiles Show

July 2022

Material Differences is the end of year exhibition from our Advanced Textiles students who have been studying together for two years. The participating artists are Ella Beech, Caroline Burgess, Sarah Chambers, Clare Leavenworth Bakali, Blandine Martin, Claire Morton and Sue Nicholls.

City Lit Fine Art Show - Together

July 2022

TOGETHER is the end of year exhibition by our year 3 City Lit fine art students. 

City Lit Foundation Art & Design Show, Downstairs in Brixton

July 2022

THERE, YET brings together the emerging practice of 28 artists working across a diverse range of media, taking in ceramics, textiles, print, sculpture, paint and film. The show spans an intergenerational reflection and shared journey into creative practice, with participating artists ranging in age from their 20's through to their 60's.

Many Piper Wings exhibition

July 2022

Taking its title from a navigation app, Many Piper Wings is an end of year exhibition that brings together the current work of nine artists who met at City Lit as members of the Developing Art Practice course. Participating Artists: Anthony Anderson, Sarah De Rozario, Karen Dodd, Elizabeth Dwyer, Glenda Frieder, Kathryn Mason, Pan Panayiotou, Ivan Scrase, Giorgos Theocharous.

Floating in a Most Peculiar Way exhibition

June 2022

This is the end of year exhibition for students on The City Lit Advanced Drawing year, Extended Drawing for Artists and Makers, which is designed for the experienced drawing student or arts practitioner who wants to develop their personal approach to drawing and enhance their art practice.

Advanced printmaking exhibition

June 2020

This is the first ‘in-house’ exhibition for students on the Advanced Printmaking course since the start of the pandemic. They have taken this opportunity and run with it, creating large scale prints and multiple smaller pieces in assemblage. The works tear away from the wall, invading the room and the space in the air, on the floor and across table plinths. Splashes of colour, detailed drawing and textural savvy create a harmonious and immersive field of printmaking at its best for the College to enjoy. 

Sculpture exhibition

June 2020

An exhibition featuring work from the City Lit Sculpture year-long course. A group who have engaged in and cultivated a working environment of research, discussion and making. They have developed their individual practice with a focus on the material and technical aspects of sculpture, within an experimental and progressive framework.

Royal Hospital Chelsea exhibition by City Lit

May 2022

A joint exhibition by City Lit students and Chelsea Pensioners from a photography course at the Royal Hospital Chelsea. 

CLDE exhibition

May 2022

Exhibition by art students from City Lit's Centre for Learning Disability Education.

Deaf Mosaic by Stephen Iliffe

April 2022

Deaf Mosaic is an exhibition of 50 portrait photograph by City Lit student Stephen Iliffe who celebrates the remarkable diversity of the UK's deaf community. Read more about the photography exhibition on our blog. 

Eight Women print

March 2022

Eight strong women, professionals, homemakers, retired or active, of all ages, helping each other experiment and extend their work and sharing their creative journey with a wider audience - the power of the collective feminine is unmissable.

New Shoots

January 2022

An exhibition of photographs taken on our beginners, online beginners and beginners in specialist disciplines courses throughout the lock downs.

Art by Adults with Learning Disabilities - online gallery

City Lit Gallery is pleased to present work created by adults with learning disabilities who study at City Lit. Congratulations to each student who has contributed to the exhibition.

City Lit Ceramics exhibition

April 2020

City Lit Gallery is pleased to present, albeit in virtual form, the work of 12 emerging ceramicists to celebrate the achievements of these learners by sharing images of their final pieces.

City Lit Fine Art Exhibition - online gallery

July 2020

Students and staff from City Lit Fine Art Year 2 are delighted to present their online exhibition 2020 including work made in the studio and at home under the challenging conditions we now find ourselves in. 

Extended Drawing for Artists & Makers Show - online gallery

July 2020

Congratulations to students who have completed the Extended Drawing for Artists & Makers course this year, their online Private View was a great success and they have an online gallery to share their work with you.

'I used to be a photography student'

March 2020

In light of the current Covid-19 status and in the interest of the health and wellbeing of our community this exibition is no longer open to the public - the City Lit Gallery hopes to be back up and running soon.

Textiles: In Transition

February 2020

This exhibition brings together students past and present from City Lit Advanced Textiles and displays the breadth of skills these learners develop. Private View: Sunday 2 February 14:00-17:00, exhibition continues 3 February – 6 March 2020.

100 minutes of film & animation

January 2020

The next exhibition in the City Lit Gallery shows 100 minutes of film and animation created by City Lit students past and present. Screening night Monday 16 December and show open until Friday 31 January 2020.

100 Portraits

December 2019

This exhibition shows our 100 Centenary portraits; a celebration of people who contribute to making City Lit special.  The photographs offer an insight into the wide range of learning possible at City Lit.

Contact & opening hours

City Lit Gallery, 1-10 Keeley Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2B 4BA

Monday – Friday 10:00 - 21:00 
Saturday - Sunday 10:00 - 18:00

Free entry  020 7492 2707  

City Lit Gallery, 1-10 Keeley Street, London WC2B 4BA