Art & Photography

“Cohort was the PERFECT base for our KS4 Art Retreat to St.Ives. The location is excellent and we were able to easily walk to all activities.

Rowena Tarplee, Falmouth School

Artists including Barbara Hepworth, Alfred Wallis, Ben Nicholson, Naum Gabo and Margaret Mellis made St Ives their home. Follow their footsteps through this spectacular town.

From Tate St Ives to the Barbara Hepworth Sculpture Museum to Leach Pottery via the St Ives Society of Artists, the famous St Ives School of Painting and over 55 private galleries and artist studios. So many iconic institutions situated in the most spectacular of settings.

In this section

Barbara Hepworth & Tate St Ives | Leach Pottery & St Ives School of Painting | Artist Educators in St Ives | Walking, Tours & Sketching | Beyond St Ives

Barbara Hepworth & Tate St Ives

Like all Tate galleries Tate St Ives houses challenging, contemporary exhibitions along with a permanent collection of the St Ives artists. They offer a great selection of workshops and sessions for schools including sketchbook and discussion tours.

Visiting the Barbara Hepworth Museum & Sculpture Garden in the heart of St Ives offers a remarkable insight into the work and outlook of one of Britain’s most important 20th Century artists. Offering great options for schools from gallery tours through to sculptural practice workshops it’s a must-do activity for any visiting art group.

Leach Pottery & St Ives School of Painting

Considered by many to be the birthplace of British Studio Pottery, one of the great figures of 20th Century art, Bernard Leach played a crucial pioneering role in creating an identity for artist potters across the world. The restored Leach Pottery site includes a museum, gallery, workshop spaces with regular shows throughout the year.

Leach Pottery has a varied educational programme to choose from including hands-on pottery workshops in their education room.

When the St Ives School of Painting opened in April 1938, it was the fulfilment of a vow made by two young officers who had served in the trenches some twenty years earlier. They vowed that if they survived the horrors of the Western Front they would one day live and paint in St Ives. Still in the same studios they offer the unique chance for your students to be taught by practicing artists.

Artist Educators in St Ives

As so many contemporary artists have made St Ives their home there is no shortage of passionate and enthusiastic individuals to inspire your students.

We recommend a number of different artist educators to conduct workshops with your students and they consistently get fabulous feedback from both students and staff: They cover a wide range of art disciplines from photography to printing and textiles to crafts.

All will work closely with you prior to the trip to ensure that your learning outcomes are met and themes are incorporated into the workshops.

Walking, Tours & Sketching

Many of the things that make an art trip to St Ives unique are absolutely FREE. The amazing and famous quality of light, the landscape, the cobbled streets and the Barbara Hepworth sculptures scattered throughout the town. All of these things can just be experienced while walking around the town and we can suggest a number of great viewpoints for sketching or painting outdoors.

You can also take a History of Art in St Ives walking tour or a photography walking tour, which provides an overview of the town along with great places to practice a variety of photographic techniques. Alternatively Tate St Ives offers a number of free, downloadable walking tours including one dedicated entirely to Ben Nicholson.

Beyond St Ives

World-class galleries outside of St Ives include Penlee House Gallery & Museum which houses the work of the Newlyn School artists from the 19th & 20th centuries; along with galleries dedicated to archaeology and social history.

In direct contrast the Newlyn Art Gallery & Exchange offers a wide and varied exhibition programme presenting contemporary work in all media by regional, national and international artists, along with a supporting programme of events.

Both galleries have great learning departments offering workshops for school groups KS1 – KS5.

Towards Lands End in the tiny village of St Just in Penwith you’ll find the incredible Jackson Foundation Gallery housed in an ex-industrial building. Tours of the gallery can be arranged directly and you may even get to meet Kurt Jackson himself.