South West Area

The Arts Society works nationally to advance decorative and fine arts education and appreciation, alongside promoting the preservation of artistic and cultural heritage.  We are a UK-based charity with over 80,000 members supporting a network of 376 local societies worldwide.

From the far west of Cornwall, through Devon and into South Somerset, there are 22 individual societies in the South-West Area. 

Our societies bring together groups of like-minded individuals through their individual programmes of monthly lectures by top experts, special interest days, visits, tours, and a range of volunteering activities.  Society and supporter members can become involved in worthwhile conservation volunteering projects in churches, museums, castles, historic houses and more.  Our Heritage Volunteers, Arts Volunteers and Trails of Discovery Volunteers offer invaluable help to many public institutions, enhancing and encouraging the appreciation and understanding of art and our artistic and cultural heritage.

You are warmly invited to become a member and discover a stimulating and enjoyable way to expand your knowledge of the arts, make new friendships, and have fun!  If you would like to contact a society with a view to becoming a member, just click on a name on the list here to find their website. 

If you are unable to join a Society, we have ‘Supporters’ too; it means that you receive an Arts magazine three times a year where you can find out about those events which are open to non-members including attending special interest days, and joining volunteers in their work in arts, trails, and  heritage projects.

The Area Support Team exists to enhance your enjoyment of the Society as an existing or potential member and offers support to local Societies.

The Area activity is fourfold:

  • Regular meetings for representatives of local societies, providing them with an opportunity to hear about the latest developments within The Arts Society, meet fellow committee members from around the area and provide a forum for societies to voice opinions, ideas and concerns.
  • Arranging training days, workshops for volunteering activities and discussion forums.
  • Organising events for members such as Special Interest Days, Visits and Tours.
  • Feeding back views to the National Organisation



Day visit to Bowood House, the home of the Marquis and Marchioness of Lansdown.

The Rougemont Room at Exeter Central Library
Castle Street

Trees in Art from Giotto to Klimt

Buckfastleigh, Devon
Buckfast Abbey Conference Centre

Cultural Revolution in the Heart of Europe, with Gavin Plumley