Tuesday, January 29, 2013

This month's Artwalk gets even more exciting!

What do you get if you cross a community arts projects with a ukulele?

Come along to Wakefield Museum for January’s Artwalk next Wednesday to find out!

On Wednesday, 30th January 5 – 8pm, Wakefield Museum is hosting a series of special exhibitions and events to mark January's Artwalk.

In addition to Faceless displaying giant murals created through their ‘Communities in Time’ project, funded by Wakefield Council’s Creative Partners grant scheme, the amazing Ossett Ukuele Philharmonia will now be performing in the lower atrium at 7 – 7.30pm! 

Create Cafe will be displaying the Flock to Ossett sheep and the Ossett crocheted bicycle! These incredible, life size papier-mâché sheep were first spotted parading through Ossett last summer to celebrate the towns heritage and links to the wool trade.

Create are also offering a special Artwalk dinner deal of 2 courses and a drink for £10.

Mural created through Faceless' Communities in Time project

Friday, January 25, 2013

Reflections on Autumn Glory - Pontefract Museum

A new, colourful exhibition has just opened at Pontefract Museum. 

'Reflections on Autumn Glory' exhibits the work of St Mary's Magnificent Mosaicers.  
New exhibition just opened at Pontefract Museum
The St Mary's Magnificent Mosaicers are  members of the public who are enrolled as Adult Learners on a weekly mosaic course run by the Workers Education Association (WEA), at St Mary's Community Centre in Chequerfield, Pontefract.  This course - Exploring the Art of Mosaic - is dedicated to modern mosaic as an art form, and has been active since 2009. 

The exhibition shows pieces created using a variety of materials ranging from tiles to stained glass, and from clay to jewellery, as well as buttons, beads, natural stone and many others, and also shows some of the tools used in creating the work.
Some of the pieces on display at the museum - even this chair seat is a mosaic!

What it means to the artists:

Caroline's mosaic in progress -Week 1

Around ten years ago I gave up full time employment because I suffered with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Consequently I became very low, however I had always been creative, having previously gained a degree in textiles, running art clubs in schools and attaining a MA in printmaking and was able to continue with this.

One day a neighbour gave me an old table, I had some leftover kitchen tiles, something clicked in my head or rather the hammer in my hand began to smash the tiles. I arranged them on the table top in a simple design, my first mosaic  Perhaps the act of destroying old material to create something new was therapeutic because I found I could not stop, moving on to my bathroom and outside into my tiny 
Caroline's mosaic in progress - Week 4

Later I saw a mosaic show in Pontefract Museum organised by a local mosaic  tutor, an altogether finer collection of mosaics made from cut glass and other materials such as pebbles and beads, it was very impressive. I was inspired to enroll in the  mosaic class at St Mary's Centre in Pontefract, this was three years ago, I'm now addicted to this artform. I love drawing, painting and pattern making, mosaics infuses all three. To finish, the positive social interaction gained from meeting like minded people each week is vital for my physical and mental well being.
Caroline Hutchinson

Caroline's mosaic in progress - Week 6

The finished piece 'Spiral' - now on display at Pontefract Museum

The day I was introduced by a friend to the mosaic class at St Mary's community centre, Chequerfield, was a day that I will be forever grateful to her.  There I found a medium I love working with, glass.  The colours and textures you can get in stained glass is practically endless.  Other media can be incorporated into your design, such as bits of jewellery, marbles and shapes made from fimo.  You don't have to be a brilliant artist or even be able to draw, just to have ideas. The sky is the limit, as they say.  The rest of the students are amazing, some of the work they do is inspiring.  Our tutor,  is very encouraging and for me, the two hours that the class lasts, is way too short.

I suffer from depression but doing the mosaics has helped be calm and focused, a big bonus.

Preparing for this current exhibition was fun but nerve wracking.  I am one of those people that as soon as the word 'deadline' is mentioned, I falter.  Even so, I got there and in the end have exhibited four pieces.
Su Starkey's mosaic 'Fire' - now on display at Pontefract Museum
For two of my pieces, night and day, I took the idea from a start burst shaped pearl brooch I had seen.  'Day' I hope you will agree with me reflects the wonderful colours of autumn and night, the cold evenings.  The buzz from seeing your work on the wall is indescribable. The exhibition is well worth a visit, you will be amazed at the variety of designs and imagination shown there.
Su Starkey

Several of the pieces are for sale - so why not pop to the museum and pick up an original work of art?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Half-term holiday activities

We are now taking February half-term bookings for Family Activities across our venues.  Sessions range from exploring Waterton's created creatures at Wakefield Museum to drop-in activities based on the Ackworth Hoard at Pontefract Museum - and more!

Click on image to enlarge

If you would like to be added to our mailing list, and find out about future activities for families and adults as soon as they are announced, please send us an email.  
Your details will be used for our mailing list only, and will never be passed onto third parties.  You can opt out of the mailings at any time.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Ackworth Hoard - a preview (we hope!)

A small selection of the treasures of the Ackworth Hoard can now be seen at Pontefract Museum until the end of February. 

The display includes some of the most important pieces such as the gold ring and the exotic foreign ducatons from the Spanish Netherlands. In all 43 gold and silver coins and the gold ring are on display along with the pot in which they were buried. The whole hoard has 592 gold and silver coins.

A selection of the Ackworth Hoard is now on temporary display at Pontefract Museum

The gold ring is inscribed 'When you see this, remember me'

A special drop-in family workshop will take place at Pontefract Museum on Thursday 21st February (during Half Term).  Aimed at families with children aged 2-12, try out your origami, craft and poetry skills to create a ring to rival the Ackworth Hoard ring!  No need to book, drop in between 11am and 2.30pm
The earliest dated coin - Edward VI (King from 1547 to 1553)
Charles I halfcrowns
Irish and Scottish coins

Pot with shillings and sixpences
Wakefield Council is trying to save the hoard by raising £54,492 to acquire it for Pontefract Museum. So far the campaign has gone very well and we are getting pretty close having raised just under £40,000. We are still awaiting the results of an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund for another £12,000 towards the acquisition, but we need another £3,000 in local funds.

You can help by sending a donation to:
The Ackworth Hoard
Pontefract Museum
Salter Row
Pontefract WF8 1BA
Please make cheques payable to ‘Wakefield Council – Ackworth Hoard’

See here for more information.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Communities in Time - at Wakefield Museum

We are pleased that Wakefield Museum will again be taking part in the bi-monthly Artwalk.  We have some fantastic artists and activities planned for 2013, the first of which is taking place on Wednesday January 30th.  This month Wakefield Museum is hosting Faceless  who are celebrating the end of their Communities in Time project.  

Communities in Time has explored the different histories of communities across the Wakefield district and has been funded by the Council's Creative Partners Grant Scheme. Faceless have worked with people of all ages - from Eastmoor, Knottingley, Ferry Fryston, Airedale and Ferrybridge  - to create large scale, collaborative art works which help to tell the story of their community.  These artworks will be on display in our Special Exhibition Gallery for Artwalkers to enjoy and find out more about this fantastic project.

Create Café will once again being open for dinner with a special meal deal available for Artwalkers to enjoy, beware though – you’ll have to share your meal with some woolly friends as Create will be displaying the life-size Flock to Ossett sheep. 

Flock to Ossett - brightly coloured sheep will be invading the cafe!
Flock to Ossett was a community led arts project culminating in a summer festival in Ossett Town Centre on June 30th 2012.   The project, supported  by the Art Council, involved schools, musicians, artists and knitting clubs across the town all working towards a one day celebration parade to encourage people to “Flock to Ossett”.  Many local schools and groups made large papier-mâché sheep for the parade to celebrate the towns heritage and links to the wool trade.  For one night only, several of these sheep have made their way to Create Café, Wakefield One for the January Wakefield Artwalk. 

Wakefield Artwalk is at venues across Wakefield  including Wakefield Museum on Wednesday 30th January 5pm – 9pm (Wakefield Museum 5pm – 8pm)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year, new Blog pages!

Happy New Year to all our readers!  

2012 was a very busy year for Wakefield Museum, and 2013 promises to keep up the pace!

Developments of the new Wakefield Museum continue, as we now also focus on developing a new museum space at The Forum, Castleford, not forgetting the changing temporary exhibition programme at Pontefract Museum and the campaign to save the Ackworth Hoard to display there.

From now on, this Blog will keep you updated on museum activities across our venues, as well as museum outreach in the community and behind-the-scenes peeks into the museum store.

If you've not already signed up to email updates on this Blog - why not treat yourself for New Year?!