The primary aim of The Arts Society Young Arts is to promote an understanding of the arts among the young. The society supports and helps fund projects from primary school pupils to post graduates.

The Wylye Valley Young Arts project 2018

We have worked again with Exeter House School and La Folia, this time in the production of a concert of Bach’s Sei Solo. Under the guidance of musical director, Howard Moody, and other professional musicians, the students have been able to experience and explore this music creating their own words, melodies and movement alongside arias from Bach’s great choral masterpieces.

Wylye Valley sponsored the visual artist workshops led by Susan Francis, where students while listening to Sei Solo explored and celebrated ‘what it is to be me’ through drawing, painting and print making. The students produced banners which decorated St Martin’s Church pillars and the T shirts that they wore for the concert performance, each making their own design in response to Bach’s work.

The concert held on 28th September 2018 at St Martin’s Church was an extraordinarily moving experience and a wonderful demonstration of what these students are able to achieve.

La Folia then performed EVENING SONGS in the cathedral on 9 July 2019 with the children from Exeter House, the choristers and youngsters from the college.  Again it was incredibly moving and beautifully presented.  The sponsorship of this project has had a profound effect on all those involved in helping to bring it together.


Young Arts Projects and Sponsorships in


The Arts Society Wylye Valley sponsored and obtained a grant from the Patricia Faye Memorial Fund in order to pay for an Artistic Director for the Multisensory Art Project which ran from the 10th – 14th July 2017 at Exeter House School in Salisbury.  Working in collaboration with Emma Kerr, Head of Education, at Roche Court Educational Centre, artist Rebecca Churchill takes inspiration from the sculpture at Roche Court to create an Art Gallery that comes to the school. The theme of the installation was ‘The world around us’. The aim is to provide sensory experiences for children with profound and multiple disabilities. Art is used as a means of encouraging expression and communication and develop very early play skills. The installation at Exeter House school was also enjoyed by children from two other mainstream schools, over the week 300 children were able to experience the installation.

Julia Gallop Young Arts Representative.


July 2 and 3 - Children’s Creative History Tent at Chalke Valley History Festival

The new Children’s Creative History Tent provided art and craft activities for children aged 6 – 12 throughout the weekend. Whether it was Tudor treasures or the Celts, or camouflage painting and Victorian fans, children were able to create their own exciting historical object to take home.  This was sponsored by Godolphin School while The Arts Society Wylye Valley sponsored the art and craft materials.  This exciting venue enabled children to be creatively and safely occupied while their parents attended lectures or other events.  Despite the muddy conditions (all the more fun for children), there was a great deal of enjoyment for many, young and not so young.

July 12 – ‘Evening Songs’ in Salisbury Cathedral

Those privileged to attend ‘Evening Songs’ in Salisbury Cathedral's magnificent setting witnessed a novel and moving interpretation. During the service a successful experiment was conducted between choristers with their educated voices and Exeter House students with their raw talent and shared enthusiasm. Exeter House is a special mixed school where participation in public events has a significant impact on their self-esteem and beliefs, whereas the Cathedral School choir are rarely asked to harmonise freely.

The Cathedral gave permission to adapt the service whilst still staying true to its intention. So together with the choristers, the Exeter team unearthed what they thought the original texts were really trying to say and from their unique lyrics music was created under the superb direction of Howard Moody of La Folia, who had the original vision.

The Cathedral was packed and with the opening Introit the scene was set for a most moving hour of prayer and music. Their joint voices filled the auditorium interspersed with solos, readings, silence and prayer and this created a wonderful atmosphere for all to enjoy. So much so that the service ended uniquely with an explosion of spontaneous applause which accompanied the children down the length of the aisle.

One chorister was deeply moved by the event as her aunt had attended a special school in an era where students hadn't been exposed to or enjoyed such freedom - a freedom that inspired and left the congregation and church better for the experience.

Our sponsorship – funding the Programme for the event

May 5 – Visit to Roche Court by children from Sarum Academy

Sarum Academy, a Salisbury Secondary School which we have sponsored for several years spent a day at Roche Court, the sculpture and educational centre near Winterslow and were clearly very impressed with the visit. As you may know, the sculptures displayed range from Hepworth to the most modern of kinetic works so it is very well worth a visit. Rather than describe the day in detail let me employ a series of quotes provided by the young students to paint a picture.

 “it was such a fun day being out in the sunshine and getting to see pieces of famous art work."

“it has really helped me work on my observational drawing skills and I was really pleased with the work I did”

“being able to go on trips like this for free is so good because it feels like the school care about us

trying to get out to see things we wouldn’t normally see”

“thanks for funding our trip it was good to get out and about and be able to see work locally “

“the trip gave me lots of ideas of how I can do things in my own work”

“being able to talk about work of artists without feeling silly was great, the staff really listened to us and took our opinions seriously"

I think these words capture very nicely the theme of Young Arts and the benefits of our investment in youth.

Our Sponsorship – funding the minibus which enabled these children to visit Roche Court.

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2015 Projects


Magna Songs Ring Out in Salisbury Cathedral

‘We have a voice that’s strong enough to say no! We have the power to make things change!’: so sang the enthusiastic young people from four Wiltshire Schools: Exeter House, The Resource Base, Woodford Valley Primary Academy, Larkrise Special School and Grove Primary School Hearing Impairment Unit.

Working with the inspiring Wiltshire based arts company ‘La Folia’ the young people created a new ‘great charter’ of rights and freedoms, presenting their vision through music, drama, dance and the visual arts. The Arts Society Wylye Valley sponsored the banner making at Exeter House School . These were then used to provide colour and visual impact to the wonderful auditorium, Salisbury Cathedral . The performance often challenged both the students’ own ideas, and that of other’s, about their capabilities. In their delivery they achieved creative, personal, social and even physical successes that exceeded all expectations.

Sarum pupils see spectacular Sculptures

Pupils from Sarum Academy enjoyed two unique opportunities to visit and photograph some of the spectacular sculptures contained within the grounds of Roche Court near Winterslow. The sculpture garden, set against the backdrop of the picturesque Wiltshire countryside, provided the perfect setting for pupils to gain inspiration for their A Level and GCSE Art and Photography courses.

The private house, Orangery, grounds and gardens of Roche Court, are the setting for the New Art Centre, set up on the 1958, an internationally renowned gallery and sculpture park. Pupils had an opportunity to get up close and personal to the work of famous artists such as Barbara Hepworth, Kenneth Armitage and Ian Stephenson. Although the sculpture park is open to the public, photographs are not usually allowed to be taken except for educational purposes. The pupils took full advantage of this exclusive opportunity and now have a bank of unique images to enhance their portfolios.

The visit to Roche Court was supported and funded by The Arts Society Wylye Valley. Miss Middlehurst, Curriculum Team Leader for Art commented “The support of educational trusts is invaluable to pupils as it provides them with the opportunity to experience the work of others, which helps push their creativity and critical thinking of the arts. We are so thankful to the NADFAS and The Roche Court Educational Trust for making this visit possible”. The photo provides an example of a School visit with sketch pads to the fore.


Each year we submit students work for the RBA annual art exhibition at the Pall Mall galleries.

The Arts Society Wylye Valley first became aware of Anya Kashina’s talent when scrutinising possible art work for the Royal Society of British Artists Annual Exhibition. Anja’s work was the only one selected from the Salisbury schools and fortunately she was selected for a scholarship by the Society.

Subsequently, she went on to study fine arts at Leeds University where she has already held her own exhibition. Her Russian heritage came in to play whilst at the University and she elected to study for one year in Surikov Moscow State Academy of Art in the Faculty of Painting. Disappointingly, the Grants Commission were unable to support her attendance at the Surikov. Luckily she pressed on and her energy was rewarded by a one-off grant by Wylye for £1000.

On her return Anya kindly provided this brief insight in to her Russian experiences. “Moscow is culturally rich, beautiful in the snow and unpredictable, but also harsh, often unaffordable and deeply corrupt. My year there was challenging. The course at the Surikov State Academy was a world away from the way we make and discuss art in Leeds, with value being put on technical skill in realistic representation. Nevertheless, I had fun, made Russian friends and learnt how to stand my ground when confronted with the ways of the Russian bureaucracy.

The course at the Surikov State Academy was very different from the one I know in Leeds, and this naturally had its benefits and limitations. I really brushed up on my technical skills in drawing and painting, refining traditional but extremely useful knowledge about perspective and line in drawing and painting. There was a lot of emphasis put on accurately representing the human form, with a life model being available to us every week day from 9.00am to 3.00pm. We were encouraged to experiment with different techniques of painting the human form, concentrating on realist painting methods. The massive Academy still has its roots firmly in Soviet realist art, and it was interesting to be part of that environment and to discuss its relevance today.”

She went on, “to formally thank NADFAS, especially Janet O’Callaghan responsible for Young Arts, for providing me with the opportunity to study in Moscow for the year. I have returned to Leeds with new skills, plenty of memories and some very useful contacts and links in Moscow.”