West Gloucestershire Art Society disbanded in March 2020.

The Society existed to promote and encourage interest in the practice of visual arts as a vital part of everyday life. It had members working in all visual arts, including drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, photography, and textiles.

WGAS was founded in 1935 by a group of Forest of Dean artists, and was re-formed in 1965 by Handel Erasmus Protheroe, the then tutor at Lydney School of Art.

Handel Protheroe was a celebrated and influential artist with work in private collections and in the National Museum of Wales.








              Handel Protheroe                                         Old Town Hall, Coleford   

                                                                               by Handel Protheroe


While teaching full time Handel Protheroe was very active in and around the Coleford area, and held extra-mural painting classes for part-time students on Saturdays and in the evenings.

His enthusiasm and expertise was instrumental in the survival and expansion of the Society. Protheroe’s strength was his knowledge of the history and techniques of painting and his mutely coloured, soulful style was reflected in the work of students.

WGAS was an exhibiting Society, and organised exhibitions in a variety of places in and around the Forest of Dean each year.


A prize, the Handel Protheroe Memorial Trophy, was awarded annually for the best entry to one nominated exhibition.













Part of an exhibition at Monmouth's Shire Hall


WGAS exhibition venues included:

Shire Hall, Monmouth     Studio Cinema, Coleford
West Dean Centre, Bream     Coleford Baptist Church
Bridges Community Centre, Monmouth
Staunton Village Hall       Ross-on-Wye Library
'Art on the Railings' at Chepstow
Whitemead Park, Parkend