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, people like designer David Mellor, Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker, animator Nick Park, author Marina Lewycka, and Warp Films producer Mark Herbert. And since 2016 students of everything from jewellery to interior design have been based in the beautifully transformed old head Post Office – now the new Sheffield Institute of Arts.
The iconic Edwardian building first opened in 1910, when surrounding Fitzalan Square was the city's main market area. Grade II listed, its spectacular spiral staircase, thick oak doors and parquet flooring all remain intact. Though the place fell empty and neglected when the Post Office closed in 1999, the dust has now been cleared, the pigeons moved on, and the art students moved in.
As well as being the workspace of lucky art students, the SIA building is also home to a gallery that opens to the public for regular exhibitions by inspiring artists, as well as hosting the annual degree show, showcasing the work of the students themselves. Take a look at what's on and, when you visit, take some time to admire this wonderful example of respectful renovation.