For the past 38 years we have been championing contemporary craft in the vibrant city of Leeds to shine a spotlight on independent makers and their small businesses from across Yorkshire and the rest of the UK. Through an exciting seasonal exhibition programme we highlight the skills behind handmade and share their inspiring stories. Bringing these amazing collections of contemporary craft together under one roof has created a haven for many visitors to escape the stresses of daily life & create mindful experiences. Please help us keep the gallery and the hundreds of small businesses we support alive by donating what you can so we can continue to keep bringing the very best of contemporary craft to you and help us and these creative industries thrive.
Please click on the donate button to donate what you can. Thank you so much!
Well we might not have won at lastnights glittering White Rose Awards hosted by Welcome to Yorkshire, in the Arts and Culture category, but we'd like to say a huge congratulations to Hull Truck Theatre who did. We were also up against The Tetley, Bradford Theatre, Sheffield City Hall and Harrogate Festival; a great bunch of Yorkshire attractions to be a finalist with and we're extremely proud of getting this far.
It seems like the perfect opportunity to reflect and thank all of our fantastically skilled and talented makers who inspire us and our visitors every day with their amazing creations and for their contribution for us applying for this award. Here's just a little snippet of what some of our makers had to say about us:
Pamela Dickinson—Jeweller: “My pieces are beautifully displayed and I often get comments from people who have noticed my jewellery in the gallery. I think it is brilliant! It makes me proud of being an artist and a Northerner. There is a wide range of work that is inclusive and accessible to everyone who is interested. It is friendly rather than elitist, enthusiastic rather than pompous. The range of work is very wide and the quality consistently high, and because of that there is always something new to see. It is interesting that it is very much part of the city centre, so as well as being a destination in its own right, it can offer a opportunity to spend a few minutes away from the hustle and bustle in the presence of the some beautiful and inspiring creations in an otherwise ordinary day!”
Emma Smalley (Temporary Measure) - Mixed media artist: “I have had the absolute pleasure of working with the Craft Centre and Design Gallery for over ten years now (which is longer than I’ve been with my other half and I find them much, much easier to deal with). It is a relationship that I value hugely, because over the years they have not only provided a prestigious and highly respected outlet for my work, they have also helped me to grow as a business with the advice and assistance they have freely and generously given. Over the years they have continued a level of support and friendliness which is so rare to find in commerce of any kind. They are also an unfailingly efficient and courteous organisation to deal with and they take a genuine interest and excitement in the crafts and design work that they champion, and it all seems to be done without any fuss or fanfare (maybe all organisations of any import should be run by five women!)”
Helen Russell—ceramicist: “The Craft Centre and Design Gallery was one of the venues on my target list when I first started my business. This was mainly because of its reputation for showcasing high quality pieces from UK designer-makers and artists but also because I knew that the staff were knowledgeable and experienced and so trusted their judgement. The retail space always looks visually stunning with the displays immaculately maintained. The staff support us as makers inside the space but also through their use of social media. They will happily post images of work and can often be found retweeting images of work we have offered up to the world. I hope that I get the chance to work with The Craft Centre and Design Gallery for a long time to come.”
Huge thanks also to every single one of our visitors who continuously support our exciting seasonal exhibition programme and inspire us to create even more fantastic shows year after year.
Finally an enormous thank you to every single dedicated and passionate member of the Craft Centre and Design Gallery team, not just the truly fantastic current team lead by Artistic Director Hayley Walker (for the past 25 years) but past members from the last 33 years; the Craft Centre family. All of these fabulous people over the years have contributed to the success of the gallery and without their ideas, energy and hard work the Craft Centre just wouldn't be the inspiring place it is today.
Promoting Calendar Girls, which debuts at Leeds Grand Theatre this Saturday, Gary Verity (Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire) welcomed the original Calendar Girls to the stage; these inspiring women who were just "ordinary women doing something extraordinary." We wish them and the production every success.
We were also treated to an exclusive airing of one of the songs written by Gary Barlow and Tim Firth for the show and as if that wasn't exciting enough the pair of them made an appearance and were made honorary Yorkshireman. Gary Barlow: “This is amazing. I’ve got many awards but believe me this is going right in the middle of them. The reaction here tonight shows why we’re here. I’ve always played to great audiences here in Yorkshire and I’m hoping for that for the show. ”
To find out whose this years Highly Commended and Winners were click here
What a night! A night of feeling very proud to be a Yorkshire attraction recognised as a 2015 finalist. And although we're hanging up our glitzy dresses for the time being we're already looking forward to next years awards!