Ancoats Visual Arts

  • mill-1
  • starting a artists sketchbook
  • mill-2
  • starting to draw
  • swivel-doors
  • Starting still life drawing

Manchester’s most welcoming creative arts organisation is for everyone who loves creative arts and crafts. 

Ancoats Visual Arts is a Manchester based creative arts organisation offering a range of community focused visual arts activities.  These include peer-supported groups, tutor-led classes, and artist-led bespoke community art projects.  Our passion is our belief that when people get involved in the visual arts it has the power to inspire, transform, and heal individuals and communities; instilling a greater sense of wellbeing, mental health, self confidence, self-awareness and positivity.

Inclusive and welcoming studio

The Gallery studio where activities take place is inspiring with views across Ancoats towards the city centre.  Our beloved Hope Mill is a Grade 2* building from the heart of the Industrial Revolution that continues to support industriousness, creativity and innovation. 

Whatever the arts activity you are involved in you are guaranteed supportive encouragement within a relaxed and inclusive studio environment.

Supportive environment

Ancoats Visual Arts is about enjoying a variety of arts and crafts activities – it’s up to you!  We love it when members get involved, sharing their passions and ideas and contributing to help the organisation grow. Ancoats Visual Arts is here to support individual creative growth.

Well-being + Friendship

We understand everyone loves arts and crafts for different reasons. Most members join us for leisure, to find out more about arts and crafts, make new friends or improve their general well-being. Whatever activity you are involved in we recognise and celebrate individuality  and support members in developing in their own direction, at a leisurely pace that will ensure they maximise their enjoyment.

Book online now

Our Be Creative art group meet in the studio on Wednesday afternoons.  We are a welcoming, friendly, inclusive and supportive arts club for everyone who enjoys arts and crafts. We welcome absolute-beginners – all you need is your passion.

See your art and enjoyment flourish.

Book online now

This series of 4 courses teaches you all the fundamental skills you need to improve your drawing and creativity. Perfect for first timers and those returning to drawing and art after many years. A supportive, encouraging, patient and inclusive approach to teaching will benefit even those students who fear the worst! 


Our studio-based Community Art for Leisure workshops can be booked-on-request by groups of 6-10 people.

Great for charities and existing community groups looking for a day out in an inspiring studio doing something a little different. Check out the range of available workshops.

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What do the group members think?

“ A great way to socialise and share idea/tips with other life drawers. Always enjoy this event! ”

“Glad I went, found it inspiring. ”
Charmaine B

“ Very friendly and welcoming, would recommend to art enthusiasts of any level. ”
Dave H

“I have come to Ancoats Visual Arts almost every week. Working in a group with other artists challenges me to improve my drawing and painting skills. I benefit from sharing thoughts and ideas with like minded people in a friendly and informal atmosphere. I have been able to look at aspects of my practice in different ways and I hope to expand on this.”
Caroline J

“A regular welcoming group in a funky building where like minded people exchange ideas, have a rant, release their creativity and laugh. I would like to see it grow into a bigger group so that more can share.”
Gerry R

More >

About Ancoats Visual Arts

Affectionately known as Ava, she is an informal community group

  • the group aims to support members, and encourage the wider community, to embrace creativity and art into their lives.
  • the group relies on much-valued, passionate + dedicated volunteers to lead peer-supported sessions.
  • the group offers members different ways of getting involved
    • Be Creative peer-led studio sessions
    • Starting to draw 4×4 course series
    • Community Art for Leisure Workshops
      by request only – artist-led
    • Art critique + open discussion

Creative Art Courses supports AVA with platform is used for

  • Memberships signup
  • Membership communication + Noticeboard
  • Sharing artwork images

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  1. Margaret
    5 September 2019 @ 9:02 pm

    Hi Im very interested in your beginning to draw and paint classes but I haven’t done anything since school and am VERY much a beginner. Would this course be suitable for me ?


    • artfulantics
      11 September 2019 @ 9:00 pm

      HI Margaret. Yes, this course will be perfect as it is especially for absolute-beginners with lots of 1:1 teaching and lots of support and guidance.
      Best regards. Brian


  2. Liam
    26 November 2018 @ 5:51 pm


    My name is Liam and me and my mum are really interested to join some local art classes.

    We found the Be creative classes by Ancoats in your centre.

    I saw that it requires 18+ members. I am 16, is there any possibility for me to join the class?

    My Best,


    • artfulantics
      26 November 2018 @ 6:46 pm

      Hi Liam
      Good to hear from you and your mom. Unfortunately I am unable to reduce the joining age to under 18 and the group can only welcome adults over 18 years old. Sorry about that – I know 16 is a difficult age to find an art class but try the Z Arts centre in Hulme. All the best, Brian


  3. Rose
    13 March 2017 @ 6:40 pm

    Please call me to book for a class for my daughter &me.
    For 2 people she is 13 years.
    Call me on 07473007272


    • artfulantics
      14 March 2017 @ 5:48 am

      HI Rose
      Thanks for contacting me. Unfortunately I only teach students 18+ years old. Try contacting the Z centre in Hulme for childrens art classes. Hope this helps. Best regards, Brian


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