Sheffield, once graced by the great John Ruskin himself, is a down-to-earth city with affordable rent – a winning combination that has given rise to a refreshingly unpretentious, fiercely creative art scene. From the big, city-centre art galleries to the smaller, independent spaces (venturing into the depths of post-industrial Kelham Island, and the modernist heights of the iconic Park Hill estate), there’s plenty going on in Sheffield.
A contender for the UK’s largest practicing community of artists and designers outside London – creative energy and artistic activity courses through this Northern city. Offering dynamic and diverse programmes, the city’s galleries are inclusive and accessible. Many of the exhibitions are also accompanied by workshops and events – helping you to get closer to the artwork and find out about the artist’s inspiration, processes and ideas.
Many of Sheffield’s galleries are close to one another, meaning you can conveniently hop from one gallery to another. Offering an insight into Sheffield’s unique heritage, Millennium Gallery sits just around the corner from Graves Gallery, home to the city’s visual art collection. Pop to one and then the other for a day filled with a few hundred years’ worth of art history. Head to Site Gallery to moving image, new media and performance and then nearby S1 Artspace for one of the best contemporary art programmes.
Check out our guide to the top art galleries in Sheffield.
Here are our picks
Graves Gallery, Surrey Street, Sheffield, S1 2LH - Visit now
Home to Sheffield’s visual art collection and an impressive number of European paintings and sculpture, the city would not be the same without Graves Gallery. Following a major refurbishment, the gallery is once again open to visitors with revamped exhibitions spaces and a third of the artwork on display changed over.
Millennium Gallery, Arundel Gate, Sheffield, S1 2PP - Visit now
Branching off from the impressive glass dome structure of the Winter Gardens (one of the largest of its type in the UK), Millennium Gallery is home to the Sheffield’s extensive Ruskin Collection and Metalwork Collection – capturing the Steel City’s industrial heritage in more than 13,000 objects – alongside two impressive temporary exhibitions spaces.
S1 Artspace in Sheffield, 1 Norwich Street, Park Hill, Sheffield, S2 5PN - Visit now
S1 Art Space has been going strong for over 20 years; providing a home to over 130 artists (including the international award-winning Haroon Mirza) during this time, and presenting numerous major exhibitions, including works by artists such as Michael Fullerton, Jessica Warboys, Jeremy Deller and Hito Steyerl. Since relocating in 2016, it’s also gained the added allure of now being based in a former garage block of Sheffield’s iconic Park Hill estate.
Bloc Projects, 71 Eyre Lane, Sheffield, S1 4RB - Visit now
The classic ‘former-industrial-building-turned-blank-gallery-space’, Bloc Projects has been exhibiting work by early to mid-career artists for over 15 years, and runs a year-round programme of interdisciplinary screenings, performances, talks and education activities.
APG Works Gallery, Sheffield, 16-20 Sidney St, Sheffield, S1 4RH - Visit now
Situated in yet another former cutlery factory, APG Works Gallery hosts a regular series of exhibitions by local, national and international artists. It’s also a great framers and offers expert screen printing services.