VSW was founded in 1969 in Rochester, New York by artist and curator Nathan Lyons (1930–2016). Rooted in Lyons’ progressive vision of the “workshop idea,” VSW became one of the earliest independent, not-for-profit, artist-run spaces in the country.
Over 50 years later VSW’s core programs continue to reflect our mission and include VSW Press, VSW Salon (formerly the VSW Film Series), Project Space Artist Residencies, and Artist Education programs, as well as a research collection and art library with over a million still and moving images and 40,000 books for artists, critics and the general public to explore, research and reuse.
VSW’s archives and programs support, promote, and explore artist’s works, artist’s studio practice, artist publications, as well as artist and curator critical writing. VSW offers crucial support to artists and curators and provides affordable or free programming around these activities for our community, both onsite and online.