Events and Activity Programme

Autumn/Winter 2014

Regular Family Event
Tots and Tales

First Wednesday of every month
10.30 – 11.30am
Join this fun session of storytelling and arty activities for parents and carers with pre-school children.

Free drop-in event held in the Foyle Learning Centre.

CORRECTION: our current brochure shows a second Tots & Tales session at 1.30 - 3.30pm. Please note that this session does not currently run.

Free art exhibition
Desmond Rosser Smith

2 September - 14 October
The Wilson, de Ferrieres Gallery

Desmond Rosser Smith (1925 – 2002) was born in Wales and later settled in  Cheltenham.  He studied art and design in London at the Central School of Art with Victor Pasmore and Bernard Meninsky in the 1950s. Although he worked in oil and acrylic on occasion, he was particularly fond of using watercolours.  He enjoyed the challenge of the medium and the effects that could be achieved. 

In the de Ferrieres Gallery at The Wilson, visitors can enjoy a small selection of his beautifully detailed paintings of local Cheltenham scenes such as St Mary’s Church and Montpellier.  His attention to detail means these locations are immediately recognisable.  They capture the colour and spontaneity of Cheltenham life too – people sitting outside enjoying tea or strolling through pretty streets.  

Exhibition talk
Ahead of the Curve - with curator Shannon Guo

11 October | 11.30am
£9 (talk and lunch) / £5 (talk only)
The Wilson, Foyle Learning Centre

Led by Shannon Gou from Two Cities Gallery in Shanghai, this talk will explore the work in the exhibition, and the current practices used to create it. The talk will give a brief overview of the past, present and future of the contemporary ceramic scene in China. It will also introduce the different schools of thought and practices in ceramic making and their impact of the emerging generation of young ceramic artists. The talk will also highlight how these young ceramicists are approaching leaving a legacy of their own by determining which parts of this age old cultural tradition they should keep, deconstruct or redefine.

Subsidised by the Arts Council England.

Please contact us to reserve a place - 01242 237 431 /

Poetry Private View & Private View
Ahead of the Curve

1 November | 7pm
£9 / £6 (concession). Price includes a glass of wine.

In celebration of the arrival of the international exhibition Ahead of the Curve, The Wilson and Cheltenham Poetry Festival join forces to offer you a special Poetry Private View with poet Alicia Stubberfield. In this intimate and innovative event Alicia Stubberfield will read new, specially commissioned work inspired by the touring exhibition, alongside other published work. Enjoy the recital of poetry while sitting amongst the exhibits which have inspired the new poems, at a time when the gallery is closed to the public. Subsidised by the Arts Council England.

Limited tickets are available for this event. Please contact us to reserve a place - 01242 237 431 /

Poetry Trail
Open Mic

13 December | 7pm
Free event
The Wilson Cafe

Are you an aspiring poet? Join the Poetry Trail throughout November, and be inspired by The Wilson’s collections.Then, perform your work alongside other poets at this special evening event.

Ahead of the Curve - Ceramic Drinking Vessels

1 November | 10am - 4pm | £20 inc materials
Foyle Learning Centre

Join ceramist Adrian Bates to develop your skills on the potter’s wheel and experiment with hand building to produce a drinking vessel to take home with you. No experience necessary. Subsidised by the Arts Council.

Numbers limited. Please contact us to reserve a place - 01242 237 431 /

Through Conflict | Gloucestershire Remembers World War One

27 September 2014 - spring 2015
The Wilson's Paper Store

The Gloucestershire Remembers WW1 project marks the centenary of World War One, and as part of it, our Paper Store will be redisplayed this autumn to showcase a selection of our World War One collection, including postcards from the frontline, and archival objects relating to World War One in a local context.

Also available are our World War One 'take away' boxes for schools. These contain items from the permanent collection which are suitable for handling, and which have been carefully selected to complement the school syllabus and enhance children's learning.

A Definite Claim to Beauty: William Morris and the Kelmscott Press

27 September 2014 - spring 2015
The Wilson's Paper Store

A brand new display of beautifully illustrated books, fine art prints and documents from the Emery Walker Library celebrating William Morris's last great venture, the Kelmscott Press.

Studio Pottery: A Century of Pots

until spring 2015
Arts and Crafts Movement Gallery

This temporary display in the Arts and Crafts Movement Gallery showcases new acquisitions of studio pottery to the collection, based around the generous gift from major collector Lewis Creed.

Art Shape Courses

We are delighted to support Art Shape in offering courses aimed towards adults facing disabling barriers to participation in traditional arts learning. To book, call 01452 863 855, or email

Art for Enjoyment | Starting 23 September | Tuesdays 10:15am – 12:30pm | £56/£36 concession
Foyle Learning Centre

Taught by a practising artist, this course will help you explore your creative journey through drawing, painting, sculpture, print making and more.

World of Art | Starting 16 September | Tuesdays 1:30pm – 4:00pm | £60/£40 concession
Foyle Learning Centre

Another popular art course for those with some experience exploring visual arts, who are looking to learn more and develop their artistic skills. Delivered fortnightly and led by a practising artist.

Christmas Shopping Evening
The Wilson Shop and the Guild at 51

4 December | until 8pm

Join us for an exclusive afternoon and evening of festive cheer, in a shop full of beautifully crafted gifts.

Guild at 51 workshops
The Foyle Learning Centre

For full information, or to book places, please visit the Gloucestershire Guild of Craftsmen website here. Workshops coming soon include:

3D Seamless Felt Bags | 3 October
Felt making to templates, led by Anne Rogers.
£45 per person (materials included) | 10am - 4pm.

Inspired to Stitch | 7 November
Embroidery workshop led by Louise Watson.
£45 per person (materials included) | 10am - 4pm. 

Christmas Tea Lights | 5 December
Creating porcelain tealights and lanterns, led by Adrian Bates.
£50 per person (materials included)

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Open daily 9.30am - 5.15pm
(Closed on 25 & 26 December, 1 January and Easter Sunday)

Admission free

Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum
Clarence Street
GL50 3JT
Tel: 01242 237431