DCMS blog

Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village, an amazing community of hardworking volunteers

Lottie Morris

by

Lottie Morris

Senior Marketing Officer, Watts Gallery - Artists' Village

This year marks the ten-year anniversary of the major restoration and reopening of Watts Gallery in 2011. This could not have been achieved without the commitment and tireless efforts of a group of volunteers who approached the challenge of clearing the Gallery with enthusiasm and energy. Among their many tasks, they emptied cupboards and drawers, uncovering long-forgotten treasures, including G F Watts’s smoking cap in a dusty box. They didn’t give up until the job was done. Their efforts were recognised in 2012 when they won the prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

Volunteers look at special plaque

Volunteers at the unveiling of the plaque, August 2021

The reopening in 2011 was celebrated with the installation of the Watts Hope Wall, situated outside the Sculpture Gallery. This wall celebrates numerous people who have generously given their time and dedication to the gallery.

Recognition for volunteers

This summer, Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village marked their fantastic community of volunteers by installing a new plaque on the Hope Wall, to mark all they have done over the past ten years. The Gallery would not be where it is today without them. 

Family running in woodland

The gardens are looking beautiful this summer thanks to the hard work of the Watts Gallery volunteer gardening team and Verey Head Gardener.

Would you like to be part of a wider community and make new friends, while immersing yourself in the surroundings of the galleries, gardens and 18 acres of woodland? Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village are currently looking for people keen to explore volunteering. They have a variety of opportunities, including tour guiding, stewarding and gardening.


Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village is a unique art gallery and heritage site consisting of historic Arts & Crafts buildings, learning studios, Tea Shop and beautifully landscaped woodlands and grounds. Nestled in the Surrey Hills, the Artists’ Village is just 40 minutes from London.

The Artists’ Village is the legacy of Victorian artist George Frederic Watts (1817-1904) and renowned designer Mary Watts (1849-1938), champions of Art for All. Today, Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village continues the Art for All ethos of Watts Gallery’s artist-founders, who believed that art should be accessible to all and that it had the power to provoke social change.