The past 10 years have seen over 115,372 participations in our Art for All programmes for schools, families, young people, adults and students. This wouldn’t have been possible without the support of talented artists, dedicated community partnerships, insightful funders and a creative and dedicated museum and gallery education and programming team.
One of the enduringly popular activities we offer, is pottery. Opening in 2011, the Foyle Pottery Studio has enabled thousands of people to work with ceramicists to make objects in clay, inspired by the ceramics collection designed by Mary Watts and The Compton Potters’ Art Guild. In recent years, we have also been able to share the creativity of William De Morgan, who advised Mary Watts and whose work is on display in the Watts Gallery.
During the lockdown, we packaged up our Clay Workshop and sent it far and wide to community groups, families and adult learners craving some creativity at home. This summer, we are working with the Tandridge Schools Alliance in East Surrey to help schools refire their kilns and create creative tiles to display in and around their schools inspired by the theme of hope – a project we started with 10 years ago in the lead up to the re-opening of the Watts Gallery, working with local schools and community centres.
In addition, our creative collaborations between artists and community groups has seen a new range of ceramics for the Limner Collection, continuing the way in which Mary Watts was working with the community when she started her workshops in the 1890s and, in October half term we hope to be able to welcome families back to our Make Space to create in clay again.