Wyspa Institute of Art, founded in 2004 and run by the Wyspa Progress Foundation in Gdańsk, accommodated on the premises of the former Gdańsk Shipyard is the first Polish non-commercial and non-governmental institution of an international profile, devoted to the issues of contemporary artistic culture. Its character and programme grows directly from the specificity of the venue where it is located – its history and tradition, on the one hand, and its projected future, on the other. Bearing in mind many failed revitalisations in Europe, the creators of the Institute apply critical tools, both practical and theoretical, in the assessment of all the phenomena happening around.
The ambition of the Wyspa Institute of Art, as well as its mission, is to play a stimulating role in the post-shipyard area, both intellectually and artistically, thus incorporating its programme within the discussion on the historical role of this area. Wyspa has always been finding links between the area itself and the history of independent art movements of Gdańsk, on the one hand, and the contemporary and innovative artistic practice on the other. Therefore, its activity runs along two parallel lines: the one representing the interest of culture and that of a widely understood public interest. This way the Institute is co-creating a new and dynamic, creative and contemporary society of the prospective Young City district.
Wyspa co-operates with numerous international art, research and educational institutions. At the same time, with regard to master development plan for the Young City area, the Institute is open to activities which can integrate all entities working in this area and consolidate the future city centre with its historic part. Wyspa plays an important role as a mediator in the shaping process of a new image of this area of the city. The programme of the Institute assumes such activities which will be clearly context-based in social, historical, public and aesthetic domains. The Institute has been and will be the laboratory of social relations in a new district of Gdańsk.
The Wyspa Progress Foundation plans to refashion its existing building to enlarge its area used for the realisation of its programme and make the looks of the building more contemporary, adequate to the contemporary aesthetics of the new district being currently developed. Similar to the programme of the Institute, the process of adaptation and refashioning of the seat of the Institute, being realised in stages, reflects the specificity of revitalisation processes occurring in the Young City area.