A GALLERY in Stockbridge will be welcoming families through their doors to break through art gallery pre-conceptions.

Every Sunday from 2pm until 4pm, starting from July 3, art teacher Jane Young will be hosting free drop-in sessions at Wykeham Gallery, exploring how art makes children feel through art appreciation.

The free new initiative ‘making sense of art’ aims to expand the gallery’s appeal to the younger generation and help break the stigma that enjoying art is expensive and is for a specific target audience.

Leader of the initiative, Jane Young hopes the weekly sessions will become a staple outing for families in and visiting Stockbridge.

She said: “We see a lot of families walking straight past the gallery, children looking at things through the window because we always put quite appealing things there like animal sculptures, but parents don’t feel confident about bringing their children in.

“I’m keen that children shouldn’t grow up frightened of galleries. I’d like to encourage them into art from an early age, show them how to treat art with respect but also to help them learn more about it and find it interesting and beautiful.

“So, this is a trial of two hours on a Sunday afternoon, actively encouraging families to bring in young children.”

Having taught children in the arts for the past 25 years, in locations from Hong Kong to Winchester, Jane feels confident that she can “engage the children and keep them interested”.

The drop-in nature of the sessions means visitors are allowed to stay as little or as long as they wish. Meanwhile, the exhibitions at the gallery change every month so there will always be new pieces for the children to look and talk about.

The art teacher said: “I’m hoping that people will be coming and going. It’s going to be a very free flowing couple of hours, and I want lots of interaction with the children and for them to feel comfortable in the gallery.

“Art appreciation is about talking and looking: how does that painting make you feel, is there a story behind that and looking at the elements of art- the line, the colour, the texture. There are so many ways to think about paintings and sculptures.

“I feel very strongly that children don’t very often stop and look, they’re constantly on screens so this is all about trying to increase their concentration- trying to get them to look at detail. And kids see different things to adults.”

While the children are occupied, parents will either be able to listen in or browse the gallery and sculpture gallery themselves. The contemporary art gallery has over eight exhibitions a year, showcasing British, International and emerging artists.

To find out more about Wykeham Gallery in Stockbridge go to https://www.wykehamgallery.co.uk/.