Keen to fill a gap in Sheffield's contemporary art market, in 1991 Karen Sherwood – a recent graduate of Psalter Lane Art College – opened up Cupola in Hillsborough. Not far from Sheffield Wednesday's football ground, with a betting shop on one side and a launderette to the other, people told Karen she'd chosen the wrong side of town to open an art gallery. As it quite thankfully turned out, she knew better.
Hop on the tram up to Leppings Lane and you'll find that, over twenty years on, Cupola continues to brighten up this corner of the city with its series of exhibitions and its shelves and walls lined with ceramics, paintings and jewellery.
Karen's enthusiasm for art radiates throughout Cupola. It's become known for its warm and unassuming welcome (free chocolate cake on Saturdays! A hot drink for every visitor! Lego!) and the charming gallery is now one of the best-loved in the area.
As well as four gallery spaces, including a dedicated craft gallery, Cupola has a smashing sculpture garden – perfect on a summer afternoon.
While you're in Hillsborough, take a wander through the walled garden at Hillsborough Park, pick up a bargain in one of Middlewood Road's charity shops, and stop off for a pint of Harvest Pale at the New Barrack Tavern.
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