Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum came to ASHA as part of a £6million redevelopment scheme – ‘Building for a new future’, which included the design and build of a new extension and the refurbishment of some of the existing galleries and public spaces.
For many years the Gallery and Museum had been very much a regional destination, focused more on the arts and crafts movement. The brief for ‘Building for a new future’ was to position the Gallery and Museum on an international and national level, and the vision was to provide access to art for all.
Focusing on the vision to make art accessible to all and the mission to involve everyone in the art of learning creatively, we looked at ways of positioning the Gallery and Museum as inclusive rather than exclusive. As we explored the exciting breadth of the Gallery and Museum’s offer we identified the generative idea ‘Creative Exploration’- the word ‘exploration’ adding an all-inclusive dimension to the sometimes elitist world of art.
Taking this idea further directed our thinking on the naming and brand identity exercise.
The name ‘The Wilson’ was a perfect expression of ‘creative exploration’. Cheltenham born Edward Wilson accompanied Captain Scott on his National Antarctic Expedition and his drawings and watercolours created during that time are on display at the Gallery and Museum.
Prior to the brand work visitor figures were just around 60,000 per year. Since the re-brand visitor figures have reached well over 200,000 in just seven months.
Since the re-positioning the gallery has attracted world-renowned work including Rodin’s famous sculpture – ‘The Kiss’ and most recently the Ahmanson Collection.