September 1 2015

Art in the Gardens, now in its 12th year, is an annual hit with around 10,000 art lovers from across the north of England.

And, this year, approximately 300 artists and craftspeople will exhibit more than 4,000 pieces of their work at the event, which will be held at the Botanical Gardens this Saturday, 5 September and Sunday, 6 September.

One ever-popular attraction for children and adults alike is the art in the Botanical Garden’s bear pit. This year, the bear pit artist is Paul Smith, who creates ceramic figurative sculptures in his studio on the edge of the Peak District.

His work is described as “dream-like and contemplative, designed to create a feeling of another reality where peaceful co-existence is possible between us and nature.”

This year’s Premier Artists, meanwhile, include Helen Parsley, Brian Robinson, Maggie Robinson, Eve Olsen, Tim Rose, Gareth Watling and Steve Elliott.

Councillor Isobel Bowler, cabinet member for neighbourhoods at Sheffield City Council, said: “As the biggest outdoor arts and crafts show in the North, the quality and sheer scale of Art in the Gardens is one of the main reasons that people come back year after year.

“We are delighted to once again welcome back hundreds of artists to the event, many of whom are regulars but some who are exhibiting their work here for the very first time.

“With live entertainment, children’s activities and of course the artwork itself, Art in the Gardens really does have something for everyone.

“And that’s even before you consider one of the biggest draws of all – the beautiful Botanical Gardens itself with its myriad delights, including the hidden Bear Pit, which will once again be playing host to exhibitions both during the preview evening and throughout the main event itself.”

The range of creativity on display at Art in the Gardens includes photography, ceramics, textiles, print making, leatherwork, wood turning, glass work, jewellery, and sculptures in metal, wood, and stone.

One of Sheffield’s best-loved artists, Joe Scarborough, will be painting in the east pavilion throughout the event. Other artists exhibiting and demonstrating their work in the Botanical Gardens pavilions include Ruth Lockwood, Phil Lockwood, Trevor Neal, Richard Johnson, Vivienne Cawson, David Brightmore and Wendy Carlton.

Original outdoor sculpture will be displayed on the lawns in front of the glass pavilions, by artists including Edwin Peat. Mr Peat, a farmer for all his working life, learned his welding techniques repairing machines. His work is inspired by art he has seen on his extensive world travels.

Also demonstrating his work will be Jason Turpin-Thomson, whose public sculptures include “The Toad” in Endcliffe Park and “The Boy and the Bird” in Rutland Road. He will be hand-chiselling a carving at the event and also showing new artworks.

There is also a dedicated children’s area with craft activities, live music throughout the weekend and a wide selection of food and drink stalls, featuring Sheffield favourites such as Street Food Chef and Sunshine Pizza Oven.

Councillor Talib Hussain, Lord Mayor of Sheffield, said: “Art in the Gardens has so much to enjoy. From the premier artists in the pavilions and marquees, the Open Art Exhibition and Portrait of Distinction competition, live performances on the stage, demonstrations of art and craft, and sculpture on the lawns to a whole host of artists and craft makers in the gazebos and market stalls.

“I would like to thank all the artists, makers, and performers taking part and everyone involved in organising and running the event including the team of volunteers. I hope visitors will explore the gardens, meet the artists, view some beautiful art and enjoy themselves.”

Alexandra Sitwell, owner of Renishaw Hall and daughter of the late Sir Reresby and Lady Sitwell, will judge this year’s Art in the Gardens “Portraits of Distinction” competition at the event’s VIP preview evening.

The preview evening, which will also feature live music and a bar as well as the main exhibition of paintings, sculpture, crafts and more, will be held from 6.30pm on Friday 4 September at the Botanical Gardens, off Clarkehouse Road.

The preview is always a popular opportunity to have a sneak preview of Art in the Gardens before it opens to the public the following day.

Alexandra is the subject of this year’s portrait competition, with previous subjects including Pulp drummer Nick Banks, television presenter Bradley Walsh, former Coronation Street actor Bruce Jones, music icon Dave Berry, artist Joe Scarborough, BBC weather presenters Paul Hudson and Lisa Gallagher, the Earl and Countess of Scarborough, Olympic high diver Monique Gladding and BBC Radio Sheffield’s Toby Foster and Rony Robinson.

For more information visit or join the Facebook event page to keep up-to-date with latest information.

Tickets for the event cost £6 per adult and accompanied children go free. Included in the ticket price is a full day of live entertainment, children’s activities and much more.

Art in the Gardens is grateful for the support of sponsors Haybrook, Heart and Henry Boot PLC.