A gallery was first established at the Norwich University College of the Arts in 1973 and presented annual programmes of curated and touring exhibitions, including work by artists based at the institution through John Brinkley and Henry Moore fellowships.
From its inception as the Norwich Gallery in 1997, the Gallery has presented over 90 exhibitions including solo and group shows of established and emerging artists, staff and students. Exhibitions have featured the work of artists such as Nedko Solakov, Lucy McKenzie, Horace Ové, and Marc Camille Chaimowicz.
EASTinternational is an open submission exhibition that takes place in the historic buildings of the University College and has taken place annually since 1991 and became a biennial event in 2009. The name reflects the location of Norwich in the East of England, but also responds to the reunification of Germany after the fall of the Berlin Wall, recognising that East and West together represent the future geography of Europe. Artists are regularly recruited from EASTinternational by galleries such as White Cube, Cabinet, Anthony Wilkinson, Kate MacGarry, the Modern Institute and Hales. EASTinternational has helped to launch the careers of many artists including Kenny Hunter, Jeremy Deller, Tomoko Takahashi, Lucy McKenzie, Zarina Bhimji, and Hew Locke.
The University College currently holds a wide range of materials relating to Gallery and EASTinternational exhibitions. This archive relates to over 700 contemporary artists and exhibition selectors. Materials include artists' editions, exhibition catalogues, publications, conference and discourse texts, artistic and curatorial documents, correspondence, works on paper, audio-visual materials, digital and analogue documentation and other electronic items.
Seeking to develop further the potential of the Norwich Gallery and EASTinternational Archive, the University College is currently cataloguing and digitising the archive collections, in particular all analogue audio-visual artists works and documentation. It hopes that building an online repository for these collections will provide students and researchers with a vital resource on contemporary art in Britain.