The New Ashgate Gallery is dedicated to promote and champion the best contemporary art and craft in the market place and to provide an unparalleled resource in Farnham, Surrey and beyond. It raises aspirations and inspires excellence. The trust delivers exhibitions and projects in the gallery and the community. It supports emerging artists in partnership with local, regional and national organisations and delivers workshops and professional practice seminars. The trust supports outreach projects as well as widening participation and diversity in arts.
1. Raise aspirations and inspire excellence through partnerships with galleries, guest curators and specialists. Exhibitions are at the heart of our work and we run an all-year programme of exhibitions.
2. Support emerging artists and retain talent in the county through professional, business and audience development in the market place.
3. Outreach workshops and projects for widening and diverse participation in arts.
We sold work by 244 artists and makers in 2012. Through the sale of contemporary art and craft, our collectors support British practitioners. Any funds raised are invested in cultivating arts and crafts through exhibition opportunities, professional practice programmes, mentoring and partnership projects. Commission on sale of work is paid to artists, supporting the creative lives of artists and makers. The gallery commission funds the overheads and further charitable activities - a passion for exhibitions and creative learning.
From the 1950s to today
Originally established as the Ashgate Gallery in 19 South Street, Farnham, by Elizabeth Naydler, in the late 1950s, the Gallery has been located in a seventeenth century listed building in Waggon Yard, Farnham, since the 1970s. The Ashgate was established with a board of trustees who administered the profits from sales to create prizes and scholarships, and for the purchase of paintings and sculpture for local and national museums. It was the first provincial gallery to show artists with an international reputation as well as supporting local talent.
Elfriede Windsor became the director in 1974, after the retirement of its founder, Elizabeth Naydler. Elfriede closed the gallery for a year, refurbished it and reopened it as the New Ashgate Gallery. Elfriede Windsor retired in the 1990s and was succeeded by Susan Szabanowicz, Joanne Barber, Melissa Jarvis and Joanne McCarthy. The current director is Dr Outi Remes who leads the service, strategic direction and organisational objectives of the Gallery as the educational charity.
The New Ashgate Gallery has a dedicated board of trustees: Rosie Baxter, Margaret Benton, Lynne Dick, Kevin and Nicola Lewis, Paget MacDonald, Rebecca Skeels, Sarah Sutherland and Peter Warshaw. The chair of the trustees is Norma Corkish. The trustees steer the organisation towards attaining our charitable and trading aims.
Rising Stars: a platform for emerging makers
Rising Stars is a platform to foster and champion students and recent graduates from BA and MA applied arts programmes across the UK. The programme consists of three parts: the Rising Stars exhibition to enable new makers to access the market place; professional development including knowledge transfer and skills exchange, a national symposium and a publication to act as a promotional tool for the selected makers. Rising Stars 2013 presented work by 32 artists and makers and was supported by the Billmeir Charitable Trust, UCA and a-n, the Artists Information Company.
We are delighted to announce that jeweller Heather Woof has won the Rising Stars 2013 Professional Development Award. Heather was chosen from 32 artists in the exhibition who were selected from more than 200 applicants. Heather Woof’s Windswept collection is inspired by the wild Scottish weather and is reminiscent of the powerful natural forces which shape the landscape around us. Working with hand cut titanium and mild steel the artist aims to evoke a sense of dynamism in these otherwise static materials. The runner up was Theo Brooks whose body of glass work explores the relationship between the handmade object and the body. Ceramic artist Michelle Arieu won the award is 2012.
Theatre of Making
The Theatre of Making is a platform for community events. It is the UK’s first touring participatory crafts education and events programme, previously managed by The Making. It allows you to meet and watch artists at work, learn about materials and processes and experience for yourself the pleasure of “hands-on” making.
The Theatre of Making focuses on craft techniques that are rarely demonstrated or engaged in by the public. Each event has a ‘theme’ and unique identity created specially for each venue. We feature a wide spectrum of crafts from textiles to silversmithing, automata making and ceramics. Participants can create and take away with them items such as willow lanterns, silver spoons, wire sculptures and glass paperweights.
Baines Surrey Artist of the Year
In partnership with the Surrey Open Studios and the Baines Charitable Trust, the Gallery organises the Baines Surrey Artist of the Year exhibition; the project showcasing the work by Surrey artists and makers. The catalogue of the 2012 exhibition is available at:
The prize is now in its fourth year. Tessa Pearson was announced the 2012 Surrey Artist of the Year. The winner receives a cash prize to further their career and a solo exhibition in the gallery. The previous winners are Stuart Stanley (2011), Adam Green (the solo exhibition winner 2010) and Julia Gascoigne Palmer (2009).
We would like to thank our partners and supporters that have included:
Arts Council England
University for the Creative Arts
Waverley Borough Council
Farnham Town Council
Baines Charitable Trust
Billmeir Charitable Trust
a-n, the Artists Information Company
Farnham Institute Charity
Surrey County Council
Surrey Arts & Open Studios
Erica Leonard Trust
Surrey Institute of Art & Design University College
Also, thank you to collectors, artists and makers who have kindly supported us over the years.
In 2004, the gallery completed a quarter-million pound redevelopment by architect Paul Archer. This created a light and open space gallery for changing exhibitions