Through Young Arts we aim to inspire young people with a lasting enthusiasm for the arts and an awareness of our heritage and its conservation. The vision of Young Arts is equality of opportunity for all to learn through participation. We hope to provide exciting opportunities for children and young people to expand their horizons through their involvement in the creative arts projects we are able to provide.

At The Arts Society West Sussex we have an on going Young Arts programme, and endeavour to provide for a broad age range and demography of young people. We would welcome volunteers to work with us, either on our Young Arts Team, or helping at an event. The Young Arts Team includes Beth Dugan, Christine Parker, Ann Gillam, Susie Coleman Jane Evea, Madeline Southall, Stephanie Fane and Rosalie Parker. Please contact or speak to any member of the team if you would like to know more or if you'd like to help in anyway with any project.

You would always be most welcome! 


Our first project this year was a trip to the Moncrieff Bray Gallery, with year 6 pupils from Fittleworth School. We found a brilliant art teacher Maureen Wells, to accompany us for the day. She encouraged the children to look carefully at the sculptures in the garden and instructed them on the techniques of one particular artist exhibiting in the gallery. It was a glorious day and they sketched outside and studied paintings inside. The afternoon was spent back at school painting with acrylics. It was a fantastic day much enjoyed by children and staff alike!


We organised the Popup Exhibition as part of the 40th Anniversary of the Petworth Music Festival. This involved 17 local Primary Schools and made for a colourful and diverse exhibition. Many members were kind enough to help steward this event. The town crier beckoned passers-by and it was a huge success once again. Those who visited it, might remember the variety of work - from small canvasses of acrylic landscapes to large lino cut designs. The work illustrated the amazing talent to be found in West Sussex. There was a display of beautifully crafted pottery houses depicting the village of Bury and some amusing robots made from scrap metal material. Awareness of the disastrous effect plastic is having on our oceans was represented with 2 and 3D images.


Lastly, following last year’s very successful Popup Poetry workshops, Rachael Long returned to run the 4 day event. A renowned poet and educator she came down from her base in The Barbican, in London to run 6 workshops in schools near here. At the end of the week a Poet Laureate and a runner up from each of the 8 schools involved was invited to read their poem to a public audience in the Petworth Literary Festival, along with anyone else who was brave enough to join in!



The Arts Society RBA Scholars are twenty aspiring young artists discovered and proposed by Arts Societies up and down the country and then selected by the RBA from 284 entries submitted for consideration. This year one of our submissions, 'The River' in mixed media by Amber Li from Farlington School, was selected and will be exhibited at two prestigious exhibitions in London. This work together with work previously selected from The Arts Society West Sussex submissions can be seen in the slide show.

To view all 20 works selected by the RBA and for information about the RBA Exhibitions which include these works click here.


Sussex Area for The Arts Society make a bursary available to a student studying as a conservator every year. All Societies are invited to make a contribution, West Sussex donates to this very valuable grant enabling a student to pursue their studies to an exceptional standard.

West Dean College is an outstanding educational establishment in West Sussex, affording artists and craftsmen across the globe a remarkable training.

This year's recipient is Samuel Matthews who is studying Historic Craft Practices Furniture Course. Click here for a report of Samuel’s work and study at West Dean.

Without the support of The Arts Society West Sussex talented young students would not have been able to continue their studies and perfect their craft enabling them to follow a career which will preserve our heritage.


In May 2019 Yr 5 pupils visited the Moncrieff Bray Gallery accompanied by Maureen Wells.  The children sketched the sculptures in the garden, looking at shape and texture and then studied various paintings and 3D items in the gallery. There were 31 children so this was achieved in groups.  Before returning to school several pupils were asked to choose their favourite piece and explain to the rest of the group why they had chosen it as a curator might do. In the afternoon Maureen instructed half the group on the skills of using acrylic paint to create a scenic view after the artist Oona Campbell.