UP Projects curates and commissions contemporary art for public places. The organisation was founded in 2002 by Emma Underhill, with a mission to support artists to make work that has social relevance, encourages learning and enriches the public sphere.

We believe in working collaboratively with artists, communities and partners to create extraordinary projects across the UK that respond to heritage, identity and place, bringing people together, stimulating debate, and supporting social change.

Our work has been enjoyed by millions of people, including ambitious public commissions, imaginative cultural strategies, artist-led events, educational workshops and community engagement initiatives. We strive to be relevant to the places we work in, whether towns and cities across the country, the UK’s river and canal network, parks and green spaces, new urban developments or areas of regeneration. 

We are a charity based in London, working across the UK and beyond.  Combining an expert team of strategic thinkers, curators, educators and project managers, we have a 15 year track record of working across the private and cultural sectors, with expertise in contemporary visual art, performing arts, architecture and urban design.

Our work is underpinned by our core values:


Learning to Learn is integral to all that we do: we encourage an experiential, participatory, collaborative and non-hierarchical approach to learning. We also ensure learning is considered holistically and that learning opportunities for artists, the public, the UP team, and the sector are created “horizontally”.    


We are open to collaboration, and to making our work as accessible as possible to people: conceptually, physically, geographically, considering disability and barriers to access.  


We provide an experimental platform for commissioning that challenges convention, questions our approach, supports risk taking and tests new ideas. 


We are responsive to contemporary life and the diversity of the UK today; through which we consider social, political, geographical and historical contexts.  


We deliver artistic work and cultural experiences that represent the height of ambition, talent and skill.  

Learn more about what we do here and the UP Projects team here.