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What’s On At Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village

Published on: 1 May, 2018
Updated on: 1 May, 2018

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If you’ve never been before, spring is the perfect season to dip your toes into the vibrant waters of Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village.

As the weather begins to warm up and the whole family is itching to get outside, there’s no better time to soak up the varied offerings at one of Surrey’s best-loved cultural hotspots.

First up on bank holiday, Monday, May 7 between 10am to 5pm is Papermania, a day of crafts, music and creativity inspired by nineteenth-century craft making.

Spend a day watching demonstrations by contemporary makers, creating marbled wrapping paper and making elegant paper cone baskets.

Papermania at the Artists’ Village, May 7, 2018.

You can enjoy folk music and morris dancing, and join in the fun around the maypole.

Or stop in at the Artist in Residence Studio to see maker in residence Florrie Thomas at work on her intricate hand-cut creations.

For May half term, May 27 to June 3, the historic gallery building designed for the great Victorian artist G F Watts – now the jewel in the crown of an entire Artists’ Village – will be at the centre of a special programme of events for families and young children.

May Half Term, special ‘Dragons and Dodos’ workshop for 8- to 12-years-olds.

You will be inspired by the colourful tiles of Arts and Crafts designer, William De Morgan. Paint a fantastic beast from your wildest imagination on to a ceramic tile, then visit the gallery to see the De Morgan collection (on long term loan from the De Morgan Foundation) in all its mystical splendour.

With storyteller Olivia Armstrong, hear fables of curious creatures and tales of Arthurian legend in the Wattses’ Arts and Crafts home, Limnerslease.

In Dodos & Dragons, a special workshop for eight- to 12-year olds, create a clay sculpture inspired by the amazing animals in William De Morgan’s ceramics. Pre-book tickets for May half term online.

The Make Space, family friendly, creative fun. Free with admission every Sunday.

No space at home to be messy? Drop in to our family friendly Make Space every Sunday.

From printmaking to painting and sewing to sculpture, families can explore different kinds of materials and making, with a new activity every week.

There’s plenty coming up for those who know Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village well, too.

June sees the opening of the new summer exhibition, James Henry Pullen: Inmate – Inventor – Genius, June 19 to October 28, the first ever gallery show devoted to the artist.

A national celebrity in his day, Pullen was widely exhibited and his work awarded for its imagination and wit. He was visited by the royal family, appeared in Dickens’s All the Year Round and was dubbed a ‘genius’ by the Harmsworth Magazine.

Yet Pullen was unable to communicate with those around him. This unprecedented exhibition will highlight a frequently unseen part of the 19th- and early 20th-century art world, emphasising Pullen’s status not as a mechanical copyist but as an innovative artist in his own right.

Woodland Fairy Fair at the Artists’ Village, July 7 and 8, 2018.

Later in the summer, don’t miss the gallery’s popular Woodland Fairy Fair, July 7 and 8 – a weekend of magical adventures for people of all ages, with activities ranging from face-painting to live music.

Watts Gallery is in the beautiful location of Down Lane, Compton, Surrey, GU3 1DQ.

You can see more information about all of these unique, exciting and creative activities at the Watts Gallery website or call 01483 810 235 or send an email to

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