Devizes Kids to Celebrate Jubilee with Professional Artist

Featured Image: Gerry Lynch.

A historic Devizes church will help local children celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee by giving them the chance to work with a renowned local artist over the jubilee period.

The parish of St John with St Mary in Devizes has partnered with artist Joanna May and historian David Evans to put an exhibition entitled ‘Majesty’ in St Mary’s Church on New Park Street from 2-4 June. Three local primary schools will participate: Wansdyke, Southbroom, and Trinity. 

Shirley Urwin, who is helping organise the exhibition, said: “The children will hear about Devizes’ historic links with the monarchy through story-telling, then Joanna will help them make paintings and drawings of story or person that resonated most with them. Joanna will then create a mosaic of the children’s drawings as part of a huge exhibition board, based upon her painting “Majesty”, which depicts Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation Crown. 

We hope they will benefit from the opportunity to work creatively with a well-known artist and be involved in a unique project marking a memorable event in their lives. 

The pupils will benefit from one-on-one time with a professional artist completely cost free. All three schools are state-funded, and both Trinity CofE and Southbroom receive higher than the national average Pupil Premium funding. This is about bringing art to everyone in our community. 

This is part of a programme of activities that will secure the future of St Mary’s Church as a vibrant and viable multi-use venue for the community of Devizes and further afield. It will raise awareness and engagement in the town of the plans to make St Mary’s available for the community as a vibrant arts space, accessible to all.  “ 

The exhibition will be free, and take place at St Mary’s from 11 am – 3 pm from Thu 2 – Sat 4 June. 

For more information, contact Shirley Urwin on or 07849 536 179.  

About Joanna May 

Joanna May is an artist based in Devizes.  She is recognised and collected widely, with a listing in ‘Who’s Who In Art’. Her work has sold at Christies’, including to celebrity buyers; she has paintings at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Raymond Blanc’s famous hotel near Henley. Her beautiful hare paintings for The Hare on the Moon – A Treasure Hunt Book hang in her Joanna May Gallery, lighting up Northgate Street in Devizes. She can be contacted on and has a website at

About St Mary’s, Devizes 

St Mary’s Church is a Grade 1 listed building and one of the town’s oldest and most historic landmarks with its magnificent 13m high internal arch. It is among the top 2.5% listed buildings in the country and of significant historic importance to the town. Plans are afoot to redevelop the building into a space for the arts, accessible to all, enjoyed for generations to come, thus preserving our heritage. Find out more at  

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