175 Years of an Art School – Heritage Open Days this week features tours of the Head Post Office, an exhibition, screenings and more

Composite image (both from Sheffield Institute of Arts)

This Friday and Saturday there are many events taking place in Sheffield as part of this year’s Heritage Open Day programme, and the Sheffield Institute of Arts at the Head Post Office will be hosting several including an exhibition of work by C3RI PhD Candidate Caroline Claisse, screenings of Professor Esther Johnson‘s curated programme Without Brutality, guided walking tours showing Where Bombs Fell and behind-the-scenes tours of the building.

Derelict for twenty years, the Old Head Post Office, fondly remembered by generations of Sheffielders, reopened in 2016 after careful restoration as Sheffield Institute of Arts (part of Sheffield Hallam University). This year, the Institute celebrates its 175th birthday and for Heritage Open Day we will showcase our own rich history – from humble beginnings in a rented room above the Glossop Road public baths in 1843, to one of the UK’s leading art schools.

175 Years of an Art School – Heritage Open Day
Sheffield Institute of Arts at the Head Post Office, Sheffield
Friday 07 September 6PM – 8PM, Saturday 08 September 10AM – 4PM
Please check here for booking.

The Augmented House Museum showcases researcher Caroline Claisse’s practice-based work exploring a co-creation approach with volunteers at historic house museums on interactive heritage exhibits. On Friday 07 September there will be a public preview of the exhibition, introduced by Nick Roscoe, chair of Sheffield’s Bishop’s House Museum. See here for Caroline’s Blog post about her previous work at Bishop’s House – an interactive exhibition entitled Curious House. The exhibition will run until Thursday 20 September.

Esther Johnson’s curated programme Without Brutality consists of films by students and staff of the university, from 1969 to 1993, when the art school was integrated into Sheffield Hallam University and the Art and Design Research Centre was formed. The programme will be looped on Saturday.

A display of 175 years of history focuses on some of the extraordinary women who have studied and worked here, from Pre-Raphaelite Lizzie Sidal to pioneering feminist film practice the Sheffield Film Co-op.

History project Where Bombs Fell is a companion piece to the 1948 map of the same title. The project marks key sites bombed during the Sheffield Blitz, connecting the dots to tell stories about the city either side of the Second World War. See here for information on the project and to book onto a guided walking tour taking place at 11AM on Saturday.

Ahead of the events, the Sheffield Star had a tour of SIA’s home in the former head post office, with Roger Bateman, principal lecturer and art & design postgraduate leader, talking about the history of the building and why it has been the ideal home for SIA since renovations were completed in 2016.

Banner images © Sheffield Institute of Arts, Old Head Post Office, early 1900s, © Sheffield Institute of Arts, Sheffield Institute of Arts, 2018.