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Barnsley Civic is pleased to announce the first in a series of collaborations, in a year-long partnership with Netherwood Academy in Wombwell.

This collaborative venture will see Barnsley Civic taking art beyond its traditional confines and into surprising places and spaces, where it will unite individuals and stories from across the Barnsley community.

The primary aim of this collaboration is to work closely with residents and community partners, offering an exciting and diverse programme that includes exhibitions, performances, and workshops, fostering an environment where creativity can flourish. The first destination for the project is Wombwell.

To mark the beginning of the 2023/24 academic year, Barnsley Civic is launching an exhibition at Netherwood Academy. This exhibition will feature works by fifteen local and national artists.

The exhibition includes an abridged version of Barnsley Civic’s successful 2023 photography exhibition Barnsley: Portrait of a Town, works by the nine winners of Barnsley Civic’s Young Photographers Competition, an installation of road-signs by disabled artist Caroline Cardus and prints by internationally renowned Pop Photorealist, Sarah Graham – an artist that has appeared on past GCSE art exam papers, alongside the likes of Andy Warhol.

Jason White, Barnsley Civic’s Community Engagement Manager, said: “We’re really excited to be able to expose the young minds of Netherwood Academy to so many different artists and types of artworks. Through collaborating with the school’s Art, Design, and Technology Department, we have been able to select work that can engage learners from five-year groups and link in with many of the different topics learners will study.”

Through community partnerships like this, Barnsley Civic recognises that schools can enhance their academic and cultural offer by utilising the expertise of cultural venues and their networks of artists.

Jason White added: “Our aim is to inspire young individuals by introducing them to artists whose stories resonate with aspects of their own lives. Living with these artworks throughout the academic year will help them gain empathy, cultural awareness, and a deeper understanding of potential career paths within the arts. They will also have the unique opportunity to engage with local young professional artists who have carved out their own creative careers.”

Over the coming year, Barnsley Civic is committed to organising artist talks at the school and already has confirmed artists, Louise Ann Wright, and Sarah Graham, among others.

Later this Autumn, Barnsley Civic has plans to develop additional projects in collaboration with Netherwood Academy’s English and Drama departments.

Kimberley Clee, Head of Department for Art at Netherwood, expressed her excitement: “We feel so privileged to host this exhibition. This is a unique opportunity for our students, showing them that art isn’t unattainable, found in places they might visit on weekends. Instead, it’s an integral part of their environment, readily available for them to enjoy. It’s wonderful.”




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