Sunningwell School of Art tutor; Kate Hammersley is taking part in the Photo Oxford exhibition ‘A Dangerous Field’.

The collection of works focuses on the diverse use of photography in artistic practice and showcases the work of 12 artists based in and around Oxford. A link to the exhibition can be found here



Covid 19 – Our Duty of Care

Welcome back!

We are delighted to announce we are re-opening for the Autumn term on week commencing 14th September, many of the classes will resume at their normal times and some will remain as online for the term. Please see our dates page for a complete list and do contact us should you have any questions, either via email or call us on 01865 730442. The new COVID 19 guidelines issued on the 9th September allow the art school to proceed with our re-opening plans providing we maintain the measures we have put in place to try and keep students and staff free from the virus.

Sunningwell School of Art is safely unlocked and remains the same as always. However, you will notice some differences when you visit for your short course in July. In order to make your time at the Art School as smooth, easy and enjoyable as possible we have removed some non-essential shared equipment and furniture. This has enabled us to make enough space for a 1.5 metre social-distancing arrangement in each studio to maintain general health and safety and allows us to operate within the current Government Covid-19 secure guidelines.

Although it’s not yet law to wear a face covering in the UK we would politely ask you to wear one whilst indoors. This is to keep everyone as safe and as comfortable as possible and is respectful to everyone who enjoys the school.

We have also taken the following precautions in accordance with government guidelines:

  • One-way systems are in place where practicable.
  • Hand sanitiser is provided at multiple points around the school and at entry and exit points.
  • Each class has a designated toilet which is cleaned every hour.
  • Shared points of contact such as door handles and switches will be cleaned after each class.
  • Any shared equipment, furniture, touched surfaces and sink areas will be cleaned after each class, this includes easels and boards.
  • Windows will be opened in each studio to increase ventilation.
  • A two-day deep clean will be done before the re-opening of on-site classes.
  • All rubbish bins have been changed to pedal bins.

Tea and Lunch Breaks.

As much as we would like to, we are not able to operate the common room as before. Tea breaks can still be taken inside each studio or in the outdoor area in front of the pottery. We will provide coffee, tea and hot water (bring your own herbal if you’d like to) and a shelter will be set-up with tables and chairs for your use at break times. The Flowing Well pub has re-opened in the village and is taking bookings.

Tables and chairs will be cleaned after each use.

Essential items you need bring:

  • ALL the art materials you need for your class, although you can still purchase from the School shop. (See below).
  • Mug, herbal teas (if you prefer) and biscuits for tea breaks.
  • Extra layers for sitting outside at break times.
  • Face covering.

Other things to note while you are at the School include the following:

  • If you have handled any still-life objects then you will be asked to place them in a box for cleaning at the end of the class.
  • Drapes, blind pulleys, portable spotlights and heaters must only be handled by your tutor.
  • Drawers, cupboards and shelves must only be handled by tutors – please ask if you need something.
  • If you use a hair dryer please leave in the box with still life items to be cleaned afterwards.
  • Hand sanitiser will be provided at key places throughout the school.

School shop

We will be running the school shop as usual from the Common Room so please bring some change with you. Unfortunately, we won’t be able to offer change at this time.

Arrival Times.

Please do not arrive early for your lesson. If you do, please wait outside the school until the session begins as this allows time for the tutor to move around the room freely whilst setting up for the day.


We know everyone is respectful, however we would ask that if you do have any Covid-19 symptoms to call and let us know you will not be attending the school and seek professional guidance. Please also let us know immediately if you, or anyone you have been in contact with, develops symptoms and has visited the school within the previous 14 days.

We are looking forward to seeing you and hope that you enjoy your day!

Safely unlocking!

Dear Sunningwell Students and friends of the Art School,

We hope you and all your loved ones are all keeping safe and well and are looking forward to returning to some form of normality, as the lockdown  begins to ease. 
We would like to thank all of you that were able to return our questionnaire which has enabled us to confidently plan for a gradual reopening of the school in the coming months.

In order to ensure that all our students and tutors are as safe as possible we will be working within the government safety guidelines and adhering to a 1.5m distancing rule with a one way system in place where possible. Our full duty of care details will be posted on the website shortly and issued to all who sign up for classes.

We are delighted to let you know that we will be holding a couple of two-day short courses here at the school on the 14th and 15th July, Jane Strother will be leading a course entitled ‘Build a Painting in a Modernist Style’ – for more information and to book on-line please click here
On the 21st and 22nd July Neil Drury will be leading a Two-Day Life and Figure Drawing/Painting Workshop, to book please click here.

In addition to the on-site courses Kate Hammersley is running a new on-line course on Thursday 23rd July entitled ‘Viewpoints’. For more information please follow this link.

Autumn Courses to commence in September

We are planning to re-commence the majority of our termly on-site art courses in September. This may mean that some courses may have amended timings and rooms, and some courses will be on-line. We will be providing regular updates via email, social media and on our website, so please do keep in touch.

If you have any questions please do get in touch, either email or phone 01865 730442. 

Stay safe, keep drawing, painting and sculpting! With very best wishes from all of us in the office at the Art School!

Vanessa, Allyson, Sophie and Mike

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