Thursday, July 6, 2017

Wakefield Wins Again!

Maya Harrison, Wakefield Museums, reflects on Wakefield's recent successes

Last night it was announced that The Hepworth Wakefield has won the largest museum prize in the world, the Art Fund Museum of the Year. This is awarded to an “outstanding museum, which has shown exceptional imagination, innovation and achievement across the preceding 12 months”.  At the award ceremony Simon Wallis, Director of The Hepworth Wakefield said

'Thank you to the people of Wakefield; we can all be proud of the inventive change that keeps occurring there,'

This is fantastic news for The Hepworth Wakefield but also has highlighted once again what an amazing place the Wakefield district is.

This isn’t the first time the Art Fund Museum of the Year has been awarded in Wakefield; in 2014 the prize went to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.  A great artistic offer shouldn’t come as a surprise from an area that produced internationally renowned artists Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth!

The Hepworth Wakefield
It’s not just art we excel in.  This Sunday sees the 22nd annual Liquorice Festival in Pontefract, a glorious, colourful celebration of liquorice . Wakefield also hosts the Rhubarb festival in February celebrating the ’Rhubarb Triangle’.
Impressed yet?
There’s more…
Another reason to cheer is the recently opened visitor centre at Pontefract Castle, and the ongoing conservation of this once magnificent and important castle.  The new visitor centre boasts an impressive learning space, new exhibitions, a shop and delicious café (we can highly recommend the lemon and blueberry cake!).
The new visitor centre at Pontefract Castle
Last week the district’s Museums (including Castleford Museum, Pontefract Museum and Wakefield Museum) were awarded significant funding from The Arts Council England;  Joining The Hepworth Wakefield, The Yorkshire Sculpture Park and The Art House as National Portfolio Organisations.

Castleford Museum
For a district once brought to its knees through declining industry and pit closures this is an impressive rise to the top of the cultural pile! This is a reflection of the passion and determination of Wakefield communities.  We should feel proud,  VERY PROUD, and shout from the rooftops about how brilliant Wakefield is.


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