Heritage Open Day 2018 at Drawing Projects UK - Saturday 8 September

As part of the Heritage Open Days 2018, there will be tours of historical buildings and other events across Trowbridge on Saturday 8 September, and there will be a number of free events and exhibitions held across the county town as part of Explore Art Trowbridge. 

Here at Drawing Projects UK, we will be open from 12noon to 4pm for the Jerwood Drawing Prize 2017 exhibition and, at 4pm, Anita Taylor, Director of the Jerwood Drawing Prize - now the Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize - will talk about the history and heritage of the open drawing exhibition project, of which she was the founding Director in 1994. Come and explore this acclaimed annual exhibition of 69 drawings by 65 artists, selected by David Dibosa of University of the Arts London, Helen Legg of Tate Liverpool, and artist, Michael Simpson.

The exhibition will provide the opportunity for all to explore Bridge House, which was built in 1929 as the Wiltshire Working Mens' Conservative Benefit Society. The Wiltshire Working Mens' Conservative Benefit Society was founded in 1887 in Trowbridge, and based on the principles established by George Holloway MP.  A clothing manufacturer, Holloway was once the largest employer in Stroud, Gloucestershire, another significant mill town. The original Holloway Friendly Society Limited was founded in 1880, and was the first to offer disability insurance in the UK. First known as Holloway House, Bridge House, was built with great pride, style, and craftsmanship. Designed by F J Lander & E A D Tanner Architects and built by E Linzey & Sons, it was opened by the Marquis of Bath in 1929.

It subsequently became the headquarters for West Wiltshire Council for Voluntary Services, and Bridge House was opened by HRH Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, in 1987, later becoming the home of the Bridge House Community Trust. In 2015, it became the new home to Drawing Projects UK, and as a centre for drawing and contemporary art presents a range of public exhibitions and events, and also has studios, workspaces and meeting rooms for artists, designers and makers, and for those who like to work and meet in an inspiring and professional creative environment. The carving above our front door - Unity is Strength - remains a profound motto for us, as it has for its occupants throughout its history. Our aim is to build community and networks through drawing, contemporary art, and a range of events. 

Explore Art Trowbridge is a collaboration between the cultural and creative venues in Trowbridge, and includes Court Street Gallery, Town Hall Arts and Trowbridge Museum as well as Drawing Projects UK. Studio Cafe will be open throughout the Heritage Open Day event serving refreshments - and we look forward to welcoming you!