Bouts Art School

Bouts Art School

We are excited to launch the Bouts Art School throughout the summer holiday. Join us and guest artists for a 30 minutes Live workshop on The Bowes Museum Instagram account @thebowesmuseum. 

Week 1 - Zine Making with guest artist Richard Bliss, 23 July, 10.00, Instagram


Join guest artist Richard Bliss in the first of the Bouts Art School summer workshops live on the Museum’s Instagram account @thebowesmuseum. Zines are a fun and easy way to share your ideas through self-publishing. All you need to take part is a pencil and a sheet of A4 paper, although if you have glue, scissors, magazines and newspapers, these can all add to the excitement of your final publication. Richard will explore St Luke Drawing the Virgin and Child by Dieric Bouts and make connections to the work of Symbolists artist and contemporary ideas about gender and sexuality.   This half hour session is aimed at 13 – 25 year olds.

Download Richard Bliss's PDF instructions for how to make a zine here

Let us know how we did! Download and fill in the evaluation form for the Zine Making Live Workshop here


Week 2 - Colour, Composition and Collage with guest artist Melanie Kyles, 30 July, 10.00, Instagram


In this fresh approach to a classic masterpiece, guest artist The Fashion Lab’s Melanie Kyles will be taking the reins on the Museum’s Instagram account, @thebowesmuseum. during this week’s Bouts Art School summer workshop. Melanie will explore the use of colour and composition in the painting St Luke Drawing the Virgin and Child. In this half hour session you’ll be inspired and supported to create your own reworked version of the painting through collage and your preferred drawing tools, as well as delving into the 7 main elements of art, learning how to create a visually balanced image.

Download Melanie Kyle's PDF instructions here.  

Learn more about The 7 Elements of Art here

Let us know how we did! Download and fill in the evaluation form for the Colour, Composition and Collage Live Woprkshop here 


Week 3 - Storytelling & Photography with guest artist Rachel McGivern, 6 August, 10.00, Instagram


The Bouts Art School online continues on the Museum’s instagram account @thebowesmuseum, as guest artist Rachel McGivern gives a half hour tutorial on the secrets of great story telling through photography. Gather a selection of your own objects to combine and arrange in interesting compositions. Find new ways of looking and document your creations using a camera or phone camera.

Download Rachel McGivern's PDF instructions for Storytelling & Photography here

Let us know how we did! Download and fill in the evaluation form for the Storytelling & Photography Workshop here


Week 4 - Unfiltered Views with guest artist Jilly Johnston, 13 August, 10.00, Instagram


In this live Bouts Art School workshop we’ll look at the world from the point of view of what is unframed. What do we choose to take pictures of and what do we leave out of our pictures. During this half hour session on the Museum’s Instagram account @thebowesmuseum we’ll explore and draw the things that we see everyday but never notice. You’ll learn about mark-making, shading and framing using a view-finder in this drawing workshop with a thoughtful twist. 

Download Jilly Johnston's PDF instructions for Unfiltered Views here

Let us know how we did! Download and fill in the evaluation form for the Unfiltered Views Workshop here.


Week 5 - A Different Perspective with guest artist Carlos Cortes, 20 August, 10.00, Instagram


In this penultimate Bouts Art School workshop, join guest artist Carlos Cortes in a game of shifting perspectives. Using drawing, colouring, collage and even photography we’ll look at how Renaissance artists created their works. We’ll work on separate pieces that will come together to become your own version of St Luke Drawing the Virgin and Child. This half hour session on the Museum’s Instagram account @thebowesmuseum includes an introduction to linear perspective, the use of textures and patterns, and painting transitions from dark to light. You even have the chance to jump into the artwork! 

Download Carlos Cortes's PDF instructions for A Different Perspective here

Let us know how we did! Download and fill in the evaluation form for the A Different Perspective Workshop here.


Week 6 - Paint Making with guest artist Sarah Elwen, 27 August, 10.00, Instagram



This is your chance to find out the secrets behind Paint Making in the last of the Bouts Art School summer workshops. Guest artist Sarah Elwen will demonstrate how we can make our own paints using everyday materials from around the home, such as cupboard spices, fruit, chalk, soil and vegetable oil. To find out how, simply watch the half hour tutorial on the Museum’s Instagram account @thebowesmuseum 

Download Sarah Elwen's PDF instructions for Paint Making here

Let us know how we did! Download and fill in the evaluation form for the Paint Making Workshop here.



Bouts Art School Poster

The Bowes Museum grounds are open!

Due to the government announcement on Thursday 17 December, that County Durham is to remain in COVID tier 3 restrictions, The Bowes Museum unfortunately will remain closed to all visitors. However, the grounds remain open to visitors from 10.00 - 4.00 daily, and we are currently hosting a woodland fairy trail, two spring trails and outdoor guided tours are available from 29 March 2021.

As we have already been shut for a number of weeks and there is much uncertainty around possible further restrictions, we have decided to use this period to undertake some work in Café Bowes, alongside performing some much-needed structural repairs to the building, notably to the windows. January and February are usually quieter times for the Museum, often due to severe weather, so we believe that this is the best time to carry out such works with the least amount of disruption to our visitors.

We have therefore decided to remain closed for a period of four weeks following any near-future tier 2 announcement from the government, as this will allow us time to deep clean the Museum prior to reopening our doors once again. We will, of course, keep you updated as the guidelines change.

Your ongoing support during these unprecedented times is hugely appreciated and we very much look forward to welcoming you back into the building as early as possible in 2021.

We hope to be able to offer a few COVID-safe outdoor events over the coming months, about which we shall make further announcements as soon as possible.