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Thelma Hulbert Gallery Highly Commended for its contribution to the 2015 Get Creative Family Arts Festival

The Thelma Hulbert Gallery has been Highly Commended for its contribution to the 2015 Get Creative Family Arts Festival, with its event Harrison’s Garden Halloween Spectacular.

The annual Get Creative Family Arts Festival is a national festival offering families an extraordinary range of arts activities to enjoy.

Voted for by a panel of expert judges from the arts sector, the Commendations recognise the outstanding events that took place within 2015 Festival and the organisations and venues that participated.

THG joined over 800 other organisations in delivering events as part of the 2015 festival, which took place between 9 October and 1 November 2015. Around 500,000 family members attended one of the 4,000 festival events across the UK.

THG’s Harrisons’ Garden Halloween Spectacular was a late-night family event which took place on 31 October 2015. It coordinated with an installation of 1,000 clocks created by top artist Luke Jerram as part of the Museums at Night festival. THG won the opportunity to work with Luke after beating other galleries, gaining an impressive 1,800 public votes.

On the day, THG held a family-friendly free clock-making workshop and opened the gallery and garden until 10pm for a fun Halloween event for families with art activities, food, cocktails and DJ in the garden. Inside, the gallery space was occupied by 1,000 ticking clocks and visitors could join the clock-making activity.

Over 300 participants aged 2 – 92 joined in the workshops making their own clocks inspired by the installation. 350 people of all ages attended the event (THG’s busiest day in its 15 year history).

The Get Creative Family Arts Festival celebrated at an awards ceremony on 30 March at the Albany in London, which recognised the Festival’s most engaging family events as well as highlighting the outstanding organisers amongst the huge variety of participating organisations

Anna Aroussi (THG education officer) was proud to represent THG at the ceremony and said: “This was the first time THG had ever run an evening event like this.

“We specifically aimed to engage families who might not be confident in visiting a gallery. We worked with Honiton Children’s Centre to reach these groups.

“Making full use of the garden space meant families could relax with young children and have space to socialise. It became a welcoming fun space with a very different atmosphere from a daytime gallery experience.”

Anna also quoted some of the happy participants who had said “We love the clocks. Children loved drawing the clocks in the art room. Fantastic experience” and “Brilliant clock workshop – so child friendly – a happy alternative to trick or treat”.

The festival is run by the Family Arts Campaign, whose recent evaluation report found that 61% of organisations reported an increase in work shown for families across the country.

Phil Cave, director of engagement and audiences at Arts Council England said: “Encouraging arts organisations to develop their family offer, and to consider the diverse needs of families in Britain today is really important.

“We are very pleased to continue to support the Family Arts Campaign, it has been a huge success to date and has reached a wide range of people.

“The campaign continues to inspire artists, arts organisations and families to engage in a vast range of arts activities across the country. It provides time for families to get together and create shared memories, and to experience the power of engaging with the arts.”

Planning is already underway for the next Get Creative Family Arts Festival, which will take place throughout October 2016. For more information about THG’s family activities, visit


(from a press release)