The West Downs Gallery

The West Downs Gallery

Creativity is highly valued at the University. We are immensely proud of the extensive and diverse art collection on display in our buildings and throughout our grounds.

Much of our art collection dates back to the days of King Alfred's College when we delivered teacher training courses with specialisms in art. We continue to commission and collect works of art, and we work to support emerging local and regional artists. A rolling programme of exhibitions by contemporary artists is organised within our West Downs Gallery.

The West Downs Gallery is sited within the beautiful West Downs Centre on Romsey Road, our flagship campus building. The gallery hosts a programme of exhibitions across the year, and aims to show creative work of the highest quality to inspire debate and participation between creative professionals, academics, students and the public.

To be added to our mailing list about upcoming exhibitions please contact

Currently showing:

Lettering Arts Trust
'The Nereids'

22 February - 23 April 2024

three pieces of letter carving artwork from the Nereids exhibition

The Nereids – benign sea nymphs of Greek antiquity – nurtured the maritime environment and befriended sailors. These attendants to Poseidon were revered for their beauty and goodness.

For this exhibition, the Lettering Arts Trust invited some of the foremost lettering artists practising today to interpret a Nereid of their choice and bring the craft of fine lettering to a wider audience. The works on show include: carvings in both stone and wood; calligraphy; letterpress printing; and mixed media. Each Nereid is the personification of a particular attribute of the sea: Doris represents the sea’s bounty; Doto gives safe passage to sailors; Glauke represents the blue-grey waters; and Amphitrite is Queen of the Seas.

There are 27 works in the exhibition and the artists’ interpretations are as varied as the Nereids themselves. The Lettering Arts Trust is the voice of letter carving in the United Kingdom. We support, develop and act as advocates for letter carving – the art of inscribing fine lettering into stone and other materials. Our purpose is to promote and preserve the skill, artistry and knowledge that goes into letter carving and the wider lettering arts. This exhibition is an expression of the passion we have for the craft.

For more information visit


Upcoming exhibitions

15 May - 26 June 2024, Fiona Hingston, 'The Englishwoman's Flora'

2 July - 8 August 2024, Dave Tipper, 'Heartwood'


Visiting the West Downs Gallery

The Gallery is open from 8am until 6pm Monday to Friday and 8.30am until 4pm on Saturdays. The West Downs quarter is a short walk from the city centre. As there is no car parking on campus for visitors, we encourage you to make use of the Winchester Park & Ride, or to use public transport. Buses stop directly outside the West Downs Centre on the Romsey Road. To keep up-to-date with the latest Gallery news please follow us on Instagram.

Exhibiting at the West Downs Gallery

All exhibition proposals are considered by the Vice Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Art, which usually convenes twice a year. There is no charge to exhibit in the Gallery, but the University charges a 30% commission on sales.

If you are interested in submitting an exhibition proposal please contact in the first instance, and details of the selection procedure will be supplied.