A Dorchester art gallery kicked off the festive season by raffling off a unique piece of art. 

Dorchester Art Gallery in Pope Street held a festive weekend to raise money for disadvantaged children and encourage people to appreciate art. 

The gallery held a charity raffle offering the public the chance to get their hands on a unique sculpture by the UK's most collectable artist, Doug Hyde. 

Gallery manager, Georgia Walker said: "It's been really busy since we opened and we've been serving up mince pies and mulled wine for free as a Christmas treat."

Named the UK’s best-selling published artist, Doug Hyde has also been dubbed the ‘nation’s favourite artist’, famous for his iconic smiley faces and oversized hearts - work which is showcased in the Dorchester Art Gallery.

The Pudsey Bear sculpture, valued at £345, was kindly donated to the gallery and owners Geoff Wick and Hannah Webster decided to raffle it off with all proceeds going to Children in Need. 

Doug Hyde officially opened the gallery at a ribbon cutting ceremony last month.

As well as the charity raffle, the gallery also held a talk by renowned Swanage born artist Rebecca Lardner and showcased a collection of her work - much of which themes around coastal scenes and Dorset. 

Geoff Wick said: "I think it's always nice for people to meet the artist in person. You get a different sense of who they are and what they do. We're really looking forward to having Rebecca here."

He added the gallery collection had grown and grown and they now had more than 50 artists on display including the highly popular Fabian Perez plus Sherree Valentine Daines, Jack Vettriano and Mackenzie Thorpe. 

Mr Wick said he had been really pleased with the success of the gallery so far and still found himself in awe of what they had managed to achieve so far. 

"I don't get enough of a chance to just come to the gallery. Sometimes I just stand here and think 'wow' I can't believe we've done this," he said. 

For more information about the gallery visit the Dorchester Art Gallery