Where to go (museums and art supplies)

 

 

 

Where to buy supplies in town

Art supplies shops

Broad Canvas (20 Broad St) - Every Oxford artist’s paradise, Broad Canvas, a small art store on Broad Street, sells a wide range of art supplies, from plasticine to watercolors, markers, and a selection of high quality paper in the basement. Bonus: the staff is friendly.

General supplies shops

WHSmith (22 Cornmarket St) - Your average WHSmith: has some art supplies in the back for when you’re in a pinch.

Hobbycraft (Unit B, Meadowside Retail Park, Lamarsh Rd) - Perhaps the biggest arts and crafts store in Oxford, sells paint, yarn, paper, pencils (basically all you need in your art life)... Only con is that it’s a little further away (20 min bus ride from the Bodelian, or 20 min walk from Oxford station).

The Works (Unit 2c, Templars Retail, Cowley) - Discount book store with a small arts aisle (with paint, canvases, pencils etc). Good for cheap material.

Art retail shops

Blackwell’s poster shop (27 Broad St) - Blackwell’s poster shop sells  a wide range of posters (unsurprisingly), but also postcards, gadgets, video-game and series goodies, and art prints. They’re a nice stop for the pop culture fans out there, or if you want some fancy art to decorate your term-time bedroom.

Where to see art

Museums in Oxford (non-exhaustive list) 

The Ashmolean

The biggest and most famous Oxford museum. It has everything from Greek statues to Japanese ukiyo-e, pottery, Islamic art… You’ll find yourself walking through a gallery of humankind’s artistic production, with artwork dating from -3000 BC to today, and from China to Holland to ancient Britain. Also, has a nice cafe in the basement and a rooftop restaurant, which is nice. Great for sketching statues.

Visits are free and a must for any Oxford student

The Pitt Rivers

The Pitt Rivers is full of everything, it’s a huge, (slightly problematic yet) amazing collection of masks and artifacts from all over the world, and a treat for any “primitive” art lover. The dimly-lit maze of artwork that constitutes the collection will have you spending hours staring at the hundreds of objects piled up on the stands and hung up all the way to the ceiling in a fantastic mesh of Chinese, Nigerian, Celtic, Egyptian art, and more... It’s a “cabinet de curiosités” on steroids, in a good way.

Visits are free and strongly recommended

Museum of Natural History

The collection right before The Pitt Rivers. There are shells, precious stones, a myriad of skeletons and birds... Great place to sketch dinosaurs! (Entrance is free)

Modern Art Oxford

Oxford’s Modern Art Museum, on Pembroke road, hosts (good) exhibitions, and has a nice cafe.

Story Museum

Very wholesome museum full of books and pictures. Has a nice cafe and holds plays occasionally

Bate Collection of Musical Instruments

Situated near Christ Church in the Music faculty, this music intrument collection is perfect for improving your harpsichord sketching (and more!)

Museum of Oxford (Town hall)

Hosts various themed exhibitions - one of the past exhibitions was "Queering spires - A history of LGBTIQA+ spaces in Oxford". They also host creative writing workshops and the likes so might be worth checking their website for updates!

History of Science museum

From old manuscripts to early calculators, the History of Science museum owns a large collection of scientific instruments which you can go sketch to awaken the Da Vinci within you!

Galleries

Christ Church Picture Gallery

The Old Jam Factory (Marmalade Cafe Gallery)

The Turrill Sculpture Garden 

Pierrepont Fine Art Gallery

Sarah Wiseman Gallery

Whitewall Galleries Oxford

Weston Library (has exhibitions)

The north Wall arts centre

Sanders of Oxford

Oxford city art event websites and festivals

Oxford Festival of the Arts - https://artsfestivaloxford.org/whats-on/

The Oxford Art Society - https://oxfordartsociety.co.uk/

OxonArts -  https://www.oxonarts.info/whats-on

The North Wall- https://www.thenorthwall.com/about-us/our-team/

Eventbrite - https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/d/united-kingdom--oxford/arts--events/

The Arts Society Oxford - https://theartssocietyoxford.org.uk/?page_id=2846

Ovada - https://www.ovada.org.uk/stammtisch/

Oxinabox - https://www.oxinabox.co.uk/category/do/events/

Artist friendly cafes

The Art Cafe (has local art)

Common Ground Cafe (occasionally holds art events)

The Handle bar cafe (has bikes hanging from the ceiling - interesting to draw)

(PS: Most cafes in Oxford - including Costa, Starbucks, and Leon - won’t kick you out if you’re sketching, so don’t be afraid to pull out your notebook as you drink your Monday matcha!)