WOW! Said the Owl


WOW! Said the Owl illustration by Tim Hopgood, of an Owl in a tree with a bright yellow background.Image of big owl in WOW! Said the Owl exhibitionPhoto of young boy doing activities in the WOW! Said the Owl exhibition


10 October to 30 January

We are delighted to bring you a bright and bold exhibition for children, based on the much-loved book, ‘WOW! Said the Owl’ by Tim Hopgood. This family friendly exhibition opens on Saturday 10 October 2020 in the Nave gallery here at 20-21 Visual Arts Centre.
Wow - Said the Owl - logo


The author and illustrator Tim Hopgood has joined forces with Young Art Explorers to specially design Wow! Said the Owl: the exhibition. The sensory and interactive elements will appeal to families and especially to children under five-years-old. The exhibition seeks to give children the same sense of wonder and amazement as the owl in the story who stays up all day, by introducing them to colours and inviting them to be creative by enjoying interactive elements of the show. Tim has also recorded a video reading of the book to accompany the exhibition. Go to our WOW! Said the Owl playlist on our YouTube channel for more videos made by Tim Hopgood to accompany the exhibition.


Throughout the exhibition there will be family art and craft ARTivities either to complete in the gallery or at home. And on 14 November there is a live-streamed clay owl making digital workshop led by Karen Raithby of Pentangle Pottery. Participants can pick up their materials in advance from 20-21 Visual Arts Centre and follow the live workshop at home, returning their owl sculptures to the gallery to be taken away for firing.

Visiting WOW! Said the Owl

Because of Covid 19, the number of interactives in the exhibition has been reduced. However there’s still plenty to do. As only one group/bubble of up to six people will be allowed into the exhibition area at a time you’ll have room to explore those interactives with your children without worrying about social distancing.

There will be a queueing system in place to enter the exhibition area. But while you wait you’ll have the opportunity to pick up a creative pack and take your place at one of our ARTivity tables to decorate a butterfly to be displayed as part of the show, and to make some crafts to take home with you.

The procedures we’ve put in place are to ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable experience, this greatly depends on everyone playing their part and participating in following the procedures, looking after their children and being respectful of other families and staff members in the building. Please check out our Visiting 20-21 page for more general information about planning your visit.

WOW! Said the Owl is a touring exhibition for under-fives and their families, designed by Tim Hopgood and organised by The Young Art Explorers Association, with thanks to Arts Council England and Macmillan Children’s Books.

(Photos by Eloise Ross).


Arts Council National Lottery Logo



Young Art Explorers logo - featuring an illustration of a young child drawing on the floor, on a yellow background.

McMillan Children's Book logo, including red stylaised illustration of an open book.