Bluecoat has announced a packed programme of winter events guaranteed to have you feeling festive.
Gemma Longworth, a regular on TV’s Find It, Fix It, Flog It, will be leading a very special Festive Wreath Making Workshop on Saturday, December 2. Beginners and seasoned crafters alike can create their own bespoke wreath out of fresh foliage, and there will be mulled apple juice and minced pies on hand.
Blue Room, Bluecoat’s inclusive arts project for learning disabled and neurodivergent artists, collaborated with cosmetics brand LUSH on a festive Knot Wrap back in September. To commemorate this, their Blue Room artists have created a garden trial with a variety of characters from the design. Visitors are invited to pick up a free trail sheet as part of the Party Animals Garden Trail and see how many characters they can spot hidden around the Bluecoat’s secret garden.
The family fun continues with a Family Festive Print Party, where little artists can use print foam to create their own pack of Christmas cards and artworks. Bluecoat will also collaborate with award-winning dance company Movema to present Makers + Shakers: In December, there will be a Creative Family Disco, a festive session of moving, making, and shaking. Create Christmas decorations before a festive disco led by Movema dancers.
There’s also plenty to do for adults, whether you want to learn a new skill or simply spend time with friends.
Print your own wrapping paper, Christmas cards, and decorations in a Festive Print Workshop led by a local artist and printmaker.
Make A Print Edition with Tim Spooner, a rare opportunity for visitors to spend time with artist Tim Spooner, is hard to beat for a unique Christmas night out. Participants will be taught block printing techniques in order to create their own print edition inspired by Tim’s current Bluecoat exhibition, A New Kind of Animal. There will also be an opportunity to meet and listen to Tim, who will share insights into his work.
Don’t pass up the opportunity to purchase a one-of-a-kind Christmas gift at the Bluecoat Arts Market.The market will feature a selection of prints created by Bluecoat’s own print studio artists.
If you’re looking for a unique Christmas party venue, Bluecoat is the place to be. Choose between a three-course sit-down meal and a relaxed evening of festive bites and drinks in the striking setting of Bluecoat’s Grade I-listed building.
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Bluecoat’s galleries will be open throughout the festive period, and visitors can see Tim Spooner: A New Kind of Animal. The exhibition includes a slew of furry animatronic sculptures as well as an impressive collection of Spooner’s previous work, which includes collage, painting, sculpture, and objects used in performances over the last 15 years.
Full details of all Bluecoat’s Christmas events are below:
Party Animals Garden Trail
Until Sun 7 Jan
Artists from Blue Room, the Bluecoat’s inclusive arts project, invite you to discover a menagerie of festive characters hidden in the Bluecoat’s secret garden. The Party Animals trail celebrates characters from Blue Room’s new knot wrap design commission from ethical cosmetics company, LUSH.
Pick up a free trail sheet from our Children’s Corner and see how many Party Animals you can spot.
Family Festive Print Party
Sat 25 Nov, 11am – 1pm & 2pm – 4pm
Adult & Child Combo Ticket: £14
Additional Child Ticket: £8
This festive season join our family friendly workshop and design, sculpt and print your own pack of Christmas cards and artworks using print foam. You’ll also create your own beautiful mono-printed decorations for your tree.
For ages 4+. Children under the age of 17 must be accompanied by an adult.
All materials included.
Festive Print Workshop
Sat 2 Dec, 11am – 5pm
Learn how to print your very own Christmas cards, wrapping paper and decorations using linocut whilst listening to festive tunes with a complimentary tea and a mince pie.
Your session will be led by a local artist and printmaker. You’ll learn the basics of linocut, how to create and register a multiple colour design and how to print your design.
Festive Wreath Making with Gemma Longworth
Sat 2 Dec, 11am – 1pm
Get into the festive spirit and join us for a hands-on wreath making workshop where you’ll learn to create your own bespoke wreath using fresh foliage. This workshop, led by TV’s Gemma Longworth, is perfect for both beginners and seasoned crafters.
All materials included. You are welcome to bring sentimental items or additional decorations to make your wreath unique.
Make a Print Edition with Tim Spooner
Thu 7 Dec, 6-9pm
Join artist Tim Spooner in learning Block Printing techniques to make your very own print edition inspired by his current exhibition, A New Kind of Animal at the Bluecoat. You’ll also have the rare opportunity to meet and hear from Tim, who will share an insight into the inspiration behind his works in our galleries.
Bluecoat Arts Market
Sat 9 Dec
Come along to the Bluecoat’s first Arts Market. Browse a selection of prints created by artists in our very own print studios, and pick up the perfect Christmas present for the art lover in your life.
Makers + Shakers: A Creative Family Disco
Sun 10 Dec, 10.30am-12.30pm & 1.30-3.30pm
Family bundle: £30
Adult and child: £20
Additional child: £8
Babes in arms, free
Bring the whole family for a session of festive moving, making and shaking. Create Christmas decorations with the Bluecoat, and follow Santa’s trail across the globe in a dance session led by artists from Movema.
Makers & Shakers is a joint partnership brought to you by Bluecoat and Movema.
Tim Spooner: A New Kind of Animal
Until Sun 21 Jan
Tim Spooner brings an exciting new commission to the Bluecoat, in the form of a host of furry, quivering animatronic sculptures. On display alongside this new commission is an impressive body of Spooner’s work, including over 190 works in collage, painting, sculpture and objects used in performances over the past 15 years. This survey of work will serve as a blueprint for the new commission; a set of instructions for ‘a new kind of animal’.