Cantor Building, 153 Arundel Street, S1 2NU
0114 225 6956
Open during exhibitions every day 10am-5pm, late opening Wednesday until 8pm. Entry is free.Visit site
Founded in 1843, Sheffield Institute of Arts (SIA) now sits within Sheffield Hallam University as the city’s art school, dedicated both to nurturing creativity and to showcasing the work of established artists and makers.
Over its 170-year history, the school has acted as a creative nest for artists and makers who have since soared to worldwide renown for their pursuits, whether they be in graphic or interior design, jewellery making or creative writing, architecture or performance.
Professor Sally Wade, head of SIA, says: "We have a very strong heritage of producing talented artists and designers like David Mellor, George Shaw, Godfrey Sykes and Harry Epworth Allen, but we can also claim a role in shaping most of the creative talent here in Sheffield. Jarvis Cocker studied fine art here in the 80s. During the day he was sitting in lecture theatres and painting in the studio, and at night he was writing songs and performing with Pulp. Warp Films producer Mark Herbert studied film here, Nick Park made his first animated short while studying here, and Marina Lewycka wrote her first book while she was studying creative writing here."
To make sure that this heritage keeps on growing, the school gives students a hand getting started in their chosen industry and also gets them involved in organising exhibitions at SIA’s own gallery. Within the Cantor Building, SIA Gallery is a high-ceilinged bright open space, which curators and students artistically transform into exhibitions that, at times, show off the school’s work and, at others, bring inspiring artists to the city. In 2016, the Institute of Arts moved into the wonderfully renovated Post Hall on Fitzalan Square – look out for exhibitions on the beautiful marble floor in here, too.
The gallery’s exhibition programme often throws up pleasant surprises. The real highlight of the year, though, is the summer degree show. Organised by the students themselves and representing around twenty creative disciplines, these annual showcases are a great insight into the institute’s work – and a perfect place to discover your future favourite artists, writers and makers!
Image taken at David Mellor: Steel and Light in 2013, courtesy of Sheffield Hallam University.