Events and Activity Programme

Unless otherwise shown, please contact us on 01242 237 431 or at for more information or to reserve spaces.

Regular Family Events
Tots and Tales

First Wednesday of every month  | The Foyle Learning Centre
10.30 – 11.15am & 1.15 - 2pm (afternoon sessions from May 2015)
Join this fun session of storytelling and arty activities for parents and carers with pre-school children.

Drop-in event. Free, but a donation of £1 per child towards materials would be gratefully received.

Arty Sundays

Last Sunday of every month  | The Foyle Learning Centre
11am - 2pm
Feeling arty? Then come and create at our free family art drop-in session.

Drop-in event. Free, but a donation of £1 per child towards materials would be gratefully accepted. 

PLEASE NOTE: there will be no Arty Sunday event on 30 August 2015.

View more family events here

Introducing The Wilson talks

Tuesdays & Thursdays, from 6 June 2015
Drop in to The Wilson for introductory talks about our fine art collection, Edward Wilson, the Arts and Crafts Movement, or the Paper Store. These talks are free, but donations are gratefully accepted.

Weekend Wilson Tours

Weekends, from 6 June 2015 | £5 per person
Join our enthusiastic and knowledgeable Visitor Services team for in-depth tours of the museum and galleries.

Special lecture series at The Wilson, spring/summer 2015

5 - 7pm | £5 per person, per lecture | Tickets available on 01242 237 431 / at the front desk at The Wilson
We advise booking in advance to avoid disappointment!

This exciting series of special talks will be delivered in collaboration with The Wilson's academic partner, The University of Gloucestershire. They will address ideas around culture, humanity, and the role of the museum as a place for both research and entertainment. Covering architecture, art, audience, curating, design, and the role of the museum/public gallery, the series looks at the nature of the exhibition, across visual and creative disciplines, and with particular reference to the function of research within exhibition-making as a practical activity - not simply the domain of Fine Art.

Each of the speakers will bring different insights to the idea of the public exhibition as an entertaining and appealing experience, drawing on the personal and anecdotal as much as their own specialist knowledge. The idea of curating as a form of practice is presented through five very different positions, and the depth and breadth of the speakers' experience should encourage lively debate

3 June 2015
Cutting edge + history = audience engagement
Sarah Brown will talk about her work with a wide range of artists and audiences, including the upcoming opening of British Art Show 8 at Leeds Art Gallery in October. Her talk will focus on how cutting edge exhibitions positioned alongside a major historic collection can engage local communities as much as an international art audience. Brown is a curator at Leeds Art Gallery.

24 June 2015
Marlow Moss, British Modernist
Dr Lucy Howarth is an Art Historian who will talk about the extraordinary life and work of Marlow Moss an unconventional but seminal British Modernist. Moss has been almost forgotten in her own country despite her major contribution to art history. Moss’ work is currently on display at TATE Britain and Lucy’s monograph on her will be published by Ashgate.

Cheltenham Open Studios 2015
Special events programme at The Wilson

For the ninth Cheltenham Open Studios event, visual arts practitioners in and around Cheltenham have opened their doors for this celebration. Exploring a range of media and styles, the taster display at The Wilson is an exciting showcase of the project. Please see below for details around accompanying events held at The Wilson. For full details about Cheltenham Open Studios, and the full range of events available, click here.


25 May – 25 June 2015
The Atrium

A selection of the artistbookarts collection held at deepspaceworks community art centre, Charlton Kings, plus an item from the Emery Walker Collection

Introduction to printing onto clay
15 June 2015 | 10am – 4pm
Cost: £58
per person, including all materials, firing and glazing.
Foyle Learning Centre
Gloucestershire Guild of Craftsmen
Led by one of the skilled practitioners from the Gloucestershire Guild of Craftsmen. This course is limited to eight participants, so early booking is advisable.
To book: please contact

FREE Drop-In Kids Workshops:
Tuesday Workshop
16 June 2015 | 3:30 – 5pm

After-school art workshop with start-up social enterprise Artplayground.

Sunday Workshop
14 June 2015 | 11am – 2pm

A COS15 Arty Sunday Workshop, run by The Wilson.
Made possible by funding from Cheltenham Arts Council. (Children to be accompanied by an adult.)

Decorative Arts
Publications and Artists’ Books: Book handling session and talk
17 June 2015 | 10am – 12pm & 2 – 4pm
Cost: £5 per person for 2-hour session with coffee break

The Foyle Learning Centre and Wolfson Study Area
A rare opportunity to handle a variety of artists’ books from the artistbookarts collection, with a talk by curator, Su Billington, from deepspaceworks community art centre in Charlton Kings. A chance to explore the history of the Private Press Movement and to see a selection of these beautiful books from The Wilson’s collection with Curator of Decorative Arts, Kirsty Hartsiotis.
To book: contact Su Billington:

Artists’ Books Workshop with Su Billington
18 June 2015 | 10am – 4pm
Cost: £50 including all materials and tea and coffee

Join us for a one day workshop handling, learning about and making artists’ books.
To book: contact Su Billington:

FREE COS Artist Demonstrations
19 June 2015 | 10am – 3pm
Foyle Learning Centre

The open studios format is all about getting up close and personal with the artists – to view their work and learn about their artistic practice. A selection of artists will be working in the Foyle all day.

An introduction to iPad Painting with David Paskett
20 June 2015 | 9.30am – 12.30pm; 1.30 – 4.30pm
Cost: £55 (A COS15 special offer)

Authentic Adventures
Fun and informative workshops – with only a basic understanding of a few techniques, the potential of this medium is quickly apparent to anyone willing to give it a go. To take part, you will need an iPad with Artrage or Sketchbook Pro (or Android equivalent) and a stylus.
To book: Authentic Adventures 01453 823328 info@

In the Making - special events programme

A special range of family and adult events will run throughout the In the Making exhibition at The Wilson. Designed to help everybody get the most from the exhibition, the events are a fun mix of craft, science and textile activities for everyone to get involved with! This exhibition is sponsored at The Wilson by Cheltenham Design Festival.

Cheltenham Design Festival

Family friendly events

M is for Make!
5 & 6 August 2015 | 10.30am - 12.30pm & 1.30 - 3.30pm
Free activities, but donations of £1 per child to cover materials are gratefully received.

Drop in craft activities - all focused on designing and making.

Science Centre
11, 18 & 25 August 2015 | 10am - 2pm
Free activities, but donations of £1 per child to cover materials are gratefully received.

Themed science and technology activities linking with the In the Making exhibition. Join in with Making Sport, Making Music and Making Money!

Rag Rugs workshop
1 August 2015 | 10am - 3pm
£35 adult / £15 under 16s inc. materials

An exciting workshop for adults and children. Learn and experiment with rag rugging and start to create your own project to finish at home. Under 16s should be accompanied by an adult. 

Adult events

Arts and Crafts Talk: traditional making and modern design
19 August 2015 | 6pm | £7 / £5 concession

Kirsty Hartsiotis, Curator of Decorative Arts at The Wilson, will look at how the designers of the English Arts and Crafts Movement revived traditional techniques of making, but also used modern technologies and materials to develop their exciting designs, and how the Movement has influenced design and craft in the 20th and 21st centuries. 

Silk Scarf Painting
22 August 2015 | 10am - 4pm | £40 inc. materials
Minimum age 16

Create your own unique hand-painted scarf in this exciting and creative workshop.

Gloucestershire Guild of Craftsmen
Monthly Craft Workshops

Monthly, Fridays | 10am - 4pm | £variable
Join expert craft makers and producers for this special series of craft workshops. Run by members of The Gloucestershire Guild of Craftsmen, these one day workshops are a great way to try a new craft or develop an existing skill. Based in the Foyle Learning Centre at The Wilson, the workshops are run as small, informal sessions, with an emphasis on participants creating something to take home at the end of the day.

More details, including dates, prices can be found here.

Adult Workshop
Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust - Wild Art: Beautiful British Bees

24 July 2015 | 10am - 4pm | £75 per person
A Cath Hodsman Microscopy Sketching event, looking at the incredible physiology of bees. Contact Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust for more information and to reserve spaces.

Introduction to Papercutting

19 September | 10am - 1pm | £20 per person inc. materials
Minimum age 16

Explore the art of papercutting with artist Yasemin Wigglesworth.

Studio Pottery: A Century of Pots

until late 2015
Arts and Crafts Movement Gallery | 2nd floor

This temporary display in the Arts and Crafts Movement Gallery showcases 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.

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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