Founded in 1843, originally as Sheffield Institute of Arts, the Sheffield Hallam University’s Department of Art and Design is the city’s art school, dedicated both to nurturing creativity and to showcasing the work of established artists and makers. Over its 178-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, artists John Hoyland, Rosalind Nashashibi and Oreet Ashery, and filmmakers including Mark Herbert and the pioneering Sheffield Film Co-op. And since 2016 students of everything from jewellery to interior design have been based in the beautifully transformed old head Post Office.
The iconic building first opened in 1893, when surrounding Fitzalan Square was the city's main market area. It was an important part of Sheffield life for over a century, closing in 1999. Now Grade II listed, its spectacular spiral staircase, thick oak doors and parquet flooring all remain intact. The former sorting offices, telegraph rooms and telephone exchange now host busy studios and workshops, following a comprehensive restoration in 2016.
The Head Post Office is also home to Sheffield Hallam University’s Gallery, which hosts a programme of public exhibitions by local and international creatives – from German expressionist artist George Grosz to graphic designer Ken Garland to American avant-garde artist and Laurie Anderson, as well as regular student and alumni exhibitions, most notably the annual Hallam Degree Show.
Check out their schedule of upcoming events and activities, and when you visit, be sure to take the time to admire this wonderful heritage building.