Drawing the Summer, Museums Sheffield

I was commissioned to develop, co-ordinate and deliver a creative season of drawing activities for Museums Sheffield. The project explored drawing in its widest sense, as a useful life skill, a tool for many different professions, and as way to engage with our surroundings.

Sketching in the Sheffield Tap

Museums Sheffield wanted a public programme which would deepen engagement with existing audiences and bring in new visitors. Working to tight timescales, I drew on existing contacts and developed new relationships with artists and organisations. We experimented with new event formats for Museums Sheffield and built on existing programming. I created a series of repeatable event formats for talks, workshops and drop-in events. With a 1 month lead-in time, I ran 29 events over 4 months, generating over 1,000 engagements and working with over 40 creative practitioners.

Here is what Laura Travis, Visitor Engagement Manager at Museums Sheffield had to say about my involvement:

Catherine’s input into this project was invaluable and without her we wouldn’t have achieved so much in such a short space of time. She followed up contacts, made new contacts, organised numerous events for a variety of audiences, got involved in the marketing and engaged with visitors both on and off site. Her organisation and attention to detail was of the highest standard. Catherine also helped us review our procedures and see our spaces in new ways. I would have no hesitation in recommending Catherine as a project co-ordinator and hope to work with her again in the future.

The programme of activity was really varied – click on the links to see photos from the sessions on the Museums Sheffield Flickr site. We headed out of the museums with drop-in sketching sessions popping up in Weston Park bandstand, in the Sheffield Tap pub, in Tudor Square and the Winter Gardens. At the Millennium Gallery and Graves Gallery I moved many sessions out of the designated activity rooms, instead setting up in thoroughfares to catch passers-by. We displayed work on a simple washing line gallery and captured photographs of participants to share on Flickr.  Smaller workshops gave adults the chance to try new things or hone existing drawing skills. Parents were encouraged to bring along their children to a lunchtime talk on early years drawing.

I worked with Pecha Kucha Sheffield to create a fun evening with a host of speakers following the PK format of speaking to 20 images, each shown for 20 seconds. These speedy talks brought together amazing speakers interspersed with live music, a pedal powered printing press and lots of beermat doodling. On the night, Geo Law created a huge mural, framing drawings created throughout the summer – watch the fab timelapse of it unfolding here.

People engaged with furniture makers, architects,  graphic designers, product designers, illustrators and visual artists as well as a street artist, a musician, a life coach, a bike designer, an archaeologist, a silversmith, a digital agency developer, a ceramicist, and a wellbeing expert.

In addition to the public programme, I set up some focused group sessions. At Northfield Nursing Home we supported a small group of adults with various needs to re-engage with drawing looking at plants from the garden and reminiscence objects.  Sheffield Young Carers explored the Ruskin Collection, then set off to draw the city from roof tops and other unusual vantage points.

Many thanks to the creative practitioners and speakers who helped make it all happen, as well as everyone behind the scenes. Follow their links below to find out more about them.
Drum roll…

Auriel Majumdar
Anthony Bennett
Brian Trevaskiss
Carole Baugh
Caroline Twist, Northfield Nursing Home
Carole Lambert
Carrie Jackson, yoomee
Christine Blackburn
David Appleyard
David Cross
Dylan Yamada-Rice, University of Sheffield
Eirini Christofidou, Live Works
Geo Law
Hannah Boddy, Cresswell Crags
Jekaterina Porohina and Ivan, Chop Shop
Jo McDonnell
Jo Peel
Jonny Douglas and Pennie Raven, Pecha Kucha Sheffield
Interplanetary DJs
Kate Genever
Katey Felton
Lucy Jacklin
Harry Harrison, Field Cycles
Kay Aitch
Kerry Lemon
Kyra Cane
Lesley Sanderson
Lisa Procter, University of Sheffield
Lynne Chapman
Sarah Smizz
Sheffield Florilegium
Sheffield Young Carers
Sofia Vago
Neil Webb
Paul Evans
Roanna Wells
Ruth Nutter, Ruskin in Sheffield
Tim Rose
Tom J Newell

Drawing the Summer was sponsored by Nest.co.uk and supported by Arts Council England.  It included a programme of exhibitions and a strand of family focused activities organised by Kim Stephenson.