It is not only the host of wild flowers of the Grey to Green project bringing colour to Snig Hill, now we have the gallery at artSocial too. The Social is an enterprise from Yes2Ventures, the Sheffield-based development agency specialising in creating employment and training opportunities for people who may be disadvantaged. It is well situated, with Snig Hill steadily becoming an attractive area with seating and an adjacent coffee bar, something of a calm refuge from the city’s hustle and bustle.
With walls adorned by the work of local artists, The Social has a small, pleasant bar serving real ale – under the banner brewSocial – as well as offering foodSocial, craftSocial and infoSocial.
Chief Executive Mark Powell recognised the value and potential that art has in encouraging engagement so decided to incorporate a gallery into the project, another part of the drive to be welcoming and inclusive. It is a beautiful space that would not look out of place on London’s famous Cork Street, with its huge front window.
Curator Simon Wigglesworth-Baker plans for the programme to be a combination of curated shows and private hires, with a keen eye on supporting local artists. The gallery also holds workshops and classes by wonderful Sheffield watercolourist Jo Snee, whose work featured in Urban, a recent exhibition of paintings aptly focussing on the transitory nature of city life and environment. There are plans for an exhibition of artwork by regular users of The Social, a number of whom may have struggled with communication until finding an outlet in art. Creativity not only brings solace but also a distinct purpose. It enables interaction, providing essential points of contact and something to share. artSocial is now part of a mini art tour that can be made, with the well-established Yorkshire Artspace: Exchange Place and Fronteer Gallery only five minutes away. It is also on a walk-through from the city centre to Kelham Island.
As the regeneration of this part of the city continues it is hoped that people’s perceptions are changing and that they feel able to investigate The Social and give it the support it needs. There are certainly plenty of reasons for doing so, and you will be guaranteed a warm welcome.
Visit their website to find more information about all services The Social can offer as well as news of upcoming events and exhibitions.
- Words by
- Sean Williams
- Featured in
- A city centre gallery trail