New Art School in the Heart of Henley

Henley School of ArtHenley School of ArtHenley School of ArtHenley School of ArtHenley School of Art

Henley’s, very own, brand-new, Art School is opening, right in the heart of town (30c Hart Street in fact). Leading the school is Henley-bred Illustrator, Jo Harris, who has been at the helm of the Henley on Thames School of Life Drawing for the past 3 years.

Jo studied Art at the City & Guilds of London Art School, Central St. Martins and more recently at the University of Gloucestershire before launching her Illustration business: Boo Dillon Illustration. On returning home to Henley, four years ago, with over twenty years of Life Drawing experience under her belt, as well as two years of helping to run the Fine Art School in Cheltenham, Jo established the extremely successful Henley on Thames School of Life Drawing. Responding to requests for more classes and having found a wonderful, light-filled venue, in the centre of town, Jo has taken the leap and expanded her School to incorporate a whole host of new creative classes and workshops.

“I am so excited to have found such a perfect, central space for our school and to be opening up a place for artists and tutors to come and create, especially in my home town of Henley. It was only after signing the lease that I found out that Francis Bacon used to use the space as a studio to paint in when he stayed at the Imperial Hotel in the late 1950’s – such a great omen!

The reason for our growth is really down to our students – I have been so inspired by the passion and skill of everyone who have come to my Life Drawing classes – I see them as collaborators and we’ve often discussed the idea of expanding the School and the appetite for more classes was definitely too large to ignore! I’ve invited some truly, incredible and talented local tutors to join the school and we’re already building a fantastic course list. Classes will run in the daytime, during evenings, and at weekends, and they cover such a wide range of interests, so there really is something for everyone. We haven’t even opened yet, and the level of enthusiasm and expectation has been overwhelmingly positive – I can’t wait to get cracking in January!” – Jo Harris, Director of Henley on Thames School of Art.

As well as the Life Drawing courses, the Henley on Thames School of Art now has on offer a wide range of other classes including painting in oils, acrylic and watercolour, experimenting with pen and ink, experimenting with colour pencil, screen-printing, lino-cut workshops, book binding, mosaics, ceramics, and photography courses, with special workshops to boost A‘Level Art student’s portfolios and children’s workshops during half terms and holidays. In addition, the Art School will be hosting exhibitions and events and will be right in the mix of it all, as a sponsor but also championing local artists for the Henley Arts Trail.

On Friday evening the Art School hosted a launch party where pupils, teachers, life models and special guests including Henley Mayor and Mayoress, Julian and Gabriele Brookes. The launch was kindly sponsored by two award winning local businesses: Luscombe’s at the Golden Ball who provided the food, and Oakengrove Vineyard who supplied some of their amazing wine (from Fawley!). The launch was also supported by the renowned fine art suppliers, Daler Rowney who provided art materials, which was in goody bags for the first 20 guests.

Classes start on the 9 January 2017.  For a full list of classes go to – the website is being added to all the time and you can sign up to a newsletter about new workshops and events at


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