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Art At Cheltenham College

Cheltenham College Art Department is housed in a unique space that is made up of five large practical areas: ‘The Main Studio’, where the majority of 3rd Form and GCSE students are taught, ‘The Yellow Studio’ which is an all purpose teaching space and a very large ‘Upper College Studio’. Along-side this we have a well equipped Ceramics / 3D area containing two kilns and 4 electric potter’s wheels and a separate Printmaking / Resources Studio. ‘The Rotunda; Collaborative Learning Centre’, is a beautiful circular library extremely well stocked with Art reference books both historical and contemporary. We are very proud of our Art department gallery called ‘The White Gallery’ which provides an interactive exhibition space for College,  the local community and beyond. Our department surrounds the stunning ‘Thirlestaine Long Gallery’, known as the ‘TLG’, which is an enviable space for exhibitions, theatrical and musical performance, teaching and lectures.

Art at Cheltenham College is a lively, diverse, exciting & stimulating place for all. The Art department encourages work to be produced in a vast range of media, with IT provision that includes six Apple Macs, an A3 laser colour printer, a large flatscreen TV in ‘The White Gallery’ and full networking facilities.

Syllabus & Exams

Since September 2014, the Third Form pupils have all followed a structured course, based on a wide range of one-off workshops giving them access to a whole range of working methods and materials. This is intended to give students an introduction to GCSE project work so that they can make an informed decision on their GCSE optional subject choices. For GCSE, we follow the AQA syllabus which can be found on the AQA website

Click the link below to take a look at some of our pupils art work:

The White Gallery

'The White Gallery' is a new exhibition area and interactive space created by Juliet Wallace-Mason, the Head of Department. It is a multi-functional space, constantly changing, but the underlying theme of many of the exhibitions is to encourage our students to create work inspired by the artists that exhibit here, so that they have the chance to exhibit their responses along-side the professionals. Visitors are always most welcome to pop in to our Open Evening events, where they can meet the artists and wonder around our exhibitions. ‘The White Gallery’ is open all week from Monday - Saturday from 7.30am to 8.00pm by appointment.

Past Exhibitions

STAFF OPEN EXHIBITION: September - October 2012 

(This will be a biennial whole-school event).

All staff of College, both from the Prep and Senior site were invited to bring along anything that they had made, in celebration that our staff are incredibly artistic and create, beyond their positions of employment. We had works from a really whole range of staff including the Headmaster, both Deputy Heads, the Bursar, a school Nurse, Groundsman, Cleaners, our Artist-in-Residence, Housekeeping staff, Matron’s, Teachers, Estates, Technicians and retirees. Our students were intrigued and amazed to see such a wealth of talent from outside what they normally expected from each exhibitor. 

THE BIG DRAW: October - November 2012 

(This will be a biennial whole-school event). 

What a spectacle! ‘The White Gallery’ was lined from floor to ceiling with white paper, The Art Department filled the space with inspirational drawing books, marker pencil, pencils and felt tips and simply opened the doors to the whole school. The final results are amazing, which drawing from all ages covering the floor, doors, stairway, walls and ceilings. We had visit from our young Kingfishers, up to Grandparents, simply coming over and making their own personal mark. One pupil from the Prep took her pet ant for a walk, all the way from the front door, into the main gallery...until it sadly disappeared in a crack in the floor! We even had a multi-coloured snake wrapping itself around the gallery walls. What fun!


Peter Lelliott has been a practicing artist for over 30 years, he has worked part-time at College and this exhibition was a wonderful retrospective of the many different approaches and techniques that he has explored during his time as an artist. The exhibition spanned the length of the TLG, as well as temporarily moving his studio into ‘The White Gallery’ to produce some of his new work, where Peter was able to give workshops to our students. Our newly formed Art Scholarship group produced a personal response to his work, which was framed and hung along-side his new works that were created whilst working in the gallery space. It was outstanding to see our Art Scholars at the Private View explaining to guests the connection between their work and his, and describing the techniques and processes that they had mastered whilst under Peter’s tutelage. 


HEADMASTER’S 3rd Form Prize: February - March 2013

A fitting show case for all of the Independent Projects submitted by each of our new 3rd Form pupils. ‘The White Gallery’ was crammed full of a whole variety of personal projects based upon ‘The Senses’. There were projects based on photography, video, musical compositions, recycling, essays, posters, paintings, journals, sketchbooks, sculptures, textiles hangings, costume designs, but to name a few. All pupils in the 3rd Form can be justifiably proud of the enormous efforts that they went to to produce such a variety of fascinating projects.


Impress is a national printmaking organisation that has been exhibiting in the local area, College were fortunate enough to be offered a ‘Dry-Point Etching’ workshop for a small number of junior school children both from the Prep and the local area. The workshop was a trial run for a larger one-day workshop to be held next year. The pupils produced some stunning prints which were on display next to the professional printmakers works. Together with this, Mrs. Parsley’s (Head of Art at the Prep) Year 6, 7 and 8 pupils produced some outstanding multi-coloured reduction Lino prints based on a range of themes from personal responses to a David Hockney recent work (an exhibition that they visited earlier in the year), and their own initials surrounded by graphic patterns. The private view was bursting with enthusiastic pupils delighted to see their original prints being exhibited along-side professional printmakers form the IMPRESS group.


Our final show of the year will be an exhibition throughout ‘The White Gallery’ and ‘TLG’ containing works from each of our exam students. This show will celebrate the sheer diversity of stylistic approaches and media handling that our students have perfected whilst with us. We wish all of our student’s the best of luck with their exams.

Throughout the Art Department, we have a policy of ensuring that what ever work is on display, our pupils and students will have their name, year group and house on a special label, so that their achievements are recognised as being one of our contributors to making the Art Department and ‘TLG’ the vibrant, exciting, energetic and ever-changing space that it is.

A short introductory course in the first year equips pupils for the GCSE course which is open to all pupils with a personal interest in this subject. There are also daily Art Clinics which are run each weekday morning from 7.30-8.30am. After school activities are run daily for all exam students from 4th Form - U6th sessions. Art Scholars have a weekly evening workshop in order to extend and challenge their practices, and to prepare them to enter their additional artworks in our exhibitions. Our 6th Form students are also able to join in with weekly ‘Life Drawing’ classes. Pupils who have been successful at GCSE are encouraged to continue to A level course. Much time is spent in one-to-one tutoring to develop individual programmes of work suited to the skills of each pupil. We also set great store by the use of free time where the most ambitious work takes place.

Our aims are to: develop the interests and skills of the individual, to ensure that by the time a pupil leaves he or she is well versed in art historical knowledge, has life-long skills in drawing and painting, can think independently and understand how to communicate and express their own ideas through use of materials and language as a vital part of their personal development.

Juliet Wallace-Mason, Head of Art