- exhibitions at Brock Keep and elsewhere, showing work from local, regional, national and international artists. They provide opportunities to meet the artists and learn more about the work on show. Exhibition themes range from contemporary conceptual and performance to more traditional work.
- courses and one-day practical workshops such as drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture and photography.
- guided tours of working studios in May as part of West Berkshire and North Hampshire Open Studios, in September during Heritage Open Days, and at other times by arrangement. Visitors can meet the artists, see works in progress, and learn more about art-making processes and motivations.
- talks and discussions about both contemporary art practice and art history.
- work with teachers, students and pupils from local schools. School and INSET visits and workshops can be arranged by appointment.
- work experience for volunteers to learn skills needed for running an arts centre, eg exhibition preparation, publicity, admin and health and safety. This is especially useful for mid-degree students to provide work experience and to provide coursework components.
- Individual tuition to young people and adults
Primary: Brock Keep is conveniently situated on bus routes and is within walking distance of several West Reading primary schools. OHOS artists have worked with Springfield Primary School, Wilson Primary School, Oxford Road Community School, Battle Primary School and St Martins Primary School
Secondary: OHOS works occasionally with secondary aged students, and would like more links with local secondary schools.
College and University: We are grateful for volunteer help from students from the University of Reading, Reading College, Bath Spa University, the University of the Creative Arts, Farnham. Students from the University of Reading have presented exhibitions at the Keep, and students from Royal Holloway, University of London have used it as a film shoot location.
Special needs and disabilities: The ground floor of the Keep, where exhibitions are held, is accessible to wheelchairs and mobility scooters, and has an accessible toilet. Unfortunately there is no lift to the studios on the upper floors, and no hearing loop. OHOS is committed to helping visitors with particular requirements, especially by prior arrangement, and will soon start raising funds for a lift to the upper floors. Some exhibitions have multi sensory possibilities, such as smell, sound and touch.
Adult: classes, talks and workshops are open to all, and are advertised through flyers and posters in libraries, email, websites, local networks and meetings, and notice boards outside the Keep.
Community events: Oxford Road Fun Day, Heritage Open Days, and the Big Draw provide family friendly art activities that are fun and educational.
arjeea21: this independent art group is one of OHOS's partners. It meets on the first Thursday of every other month at 7.30pm. It is open to all, supports the development of artists, particularly in contemporary art practice, and organises one or two exhibitions each year. Any one can bring along their artwork for advice and for informal and constructive criticism. www.arjeea21.com
Volunteers and work experience: OHOS greatly appreciates help given by friends and neighbours fom the local community. This contributes useful knowledge about the Keep, its history, and the activities that have happened there. We all learn from each other. In 2014 OHOS was fortunate to have Lisa Barnard as summer Archive and Exhibitions Intern, funded by the University of Reading. Lisa is kindly going to continue to volunteer for OHOS, working with the archives.
Research: OHOS much appreciates help provided local historians Mike Cooper, Sid Beauchant, David Peacock, and John Chapman with researching the history of the Keep and its military heritage. Lisa Barnard's help is also much valued in researching the many artists who have made use of the Keep over the last 30 years. OHOS would welcome a volunteer who would like to research the period of the homeless shelter.
Jon Lockhart is pursuing a research strand in the use of digital technology in art, and is currently a PhD candidate at Reading University.
Ingrid Jensen is following a research interest in the use within art of scientific boundary models to explore the human susceptibility to dogma.