Participation & Learning

Aspex reopened on Wednesday 12 August, however following very careful consideration of the COVID-19 situation and the care and wellbeing of our Aspex family and friends - it is with regret that we have taken the decision to continue to suspend participation activities. 

This means our weekly family workshops, Mini Makers & Family Saturdays won't go ahead for the foreseeable future. You can sign up to our mailing list if you'd like to hear from us when we plan to start workshops again - just sign up at the bottom of this page. 

We will keep updating our website and social media platforms with current information. We will be proactively looking at other ways to support our Mini Makers, Generate and Family Saturdays communities.


Our participation programme aims to deliver opportunities to engage with art to people from all backgrounds, ages and abilities.

It is our firm belief that art is for the many, not the few. That’s why many of our participatory events are free.

In 2016 the gallery received a Small Capital Grant from Arts Council England, resulting in a new Learning Space with improved resources for workshops and participation. 

To find out details about our programme, please read below.


We have track record of providing high quality workshops for visiting schools and colleges, with one teacher commenting: "Aspex is an invaluable resource for the city. The work it does within the local community is amazing and provides excellent learning opportunities".

If you're interested in a self-directed visit, please contact Vicky Chapter, Participation & Learning Manager by email, or ring the gallery on 02392 778080.

We also suggest that you take a read of our 2016/17 Schools Brochure, containing case studies of previous school and teacher visits.

Arts Award

Arts Award supports anyone aged up to 25 to grow as artists and arts leaders, inspiring them to connect with and take part in the wider arts world through setting personal challenges in an art form of their choice.

Arts Award offers national qualifications that enable young people to progress into further education and employment. Young people not only gain art form knowledge and understanding but also develop leadership, creativity and communication skills.

Aspex is both an Arts Award Centre and Arts Award Supporter. Our Learning team is trained to deliver Discover and Explore, through to Bronze, Silver and Gold.

We offer:

  • Free entry to our exhibitions
  • Free Family Saturdays drop-in workshops, every Saturday 11am - 1pm
  • Free monthly Arts Award Club to meet with an Arts Award Advisor (click here to read more)
  • Artist-led School workshops in response to our exhibition programme
  • Artist-led Holiday Art Clubs every school holiday
  • Volunteering opportunities for 16+

Children & Families

Artists start at Aspex. We offer a variety of workshops for all ages, including children and families!

Mini Makers

Early years workshops that take place every Wednesday, 10.30-11.30am. An opportunity for parents to informally enjoy arts activities with their child.

Holiday Art Club

Every Half Term we host a series of day-long workshops, inspired by our exhibition programme.

Family Saturdays

Free drop-in workshops led by local illustrator Jordan Baines and artist Megan Humphries, taking place every Saturday, 11am – 1pm.


Disabilities, SEN and Autism

We offer a wide range of workshops with the belief that visual arts should be accessible for all. All of our workshops are led by trained artists/practitioners. 


A pilot project which aims to address a lack of arts and cultural provision for children, young people and adults with SEN & disabilities, as well as those on the Autistic spectrum. Click here for more.


An inclusive arts workshop for people with dementia, funded by the NHS Clinical Commissioning Group. Click here for more.



We are in the process of constructing a new mobile learning studio, a vehicle customised for offsite workshops and activity. This will come with us to major events such as Victorious Festival, the Portsmouth Summer Show and the Fratton Family Festival.