Art Buzz: Visual and Performing Art in Yorkshire

Welcome to Yorkshire, the official tourism agency for England’s largest county, has launched a new promotional campaign, ‘The Arts of Yorkshire.’ Part of that promotion includes the debut of England’s largest art gallery outside of London, The Hepworth Wakefield, which opens this weekend on Saturday, May 21. Designed by English architect David Chipperfield, The Hepworth will be the largest art gallery outside of London and will show for the first time a unique collection of sculptures by Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore, both born and raised in the Wakefield district.
 
Nearby, the Yorkshire Sculpture Park is set within 100 acres of parkland and has the largest display of Henry Moore bronzes in the world. The sculpture park is currently presenting an extraordinary body of new and recent work until September 2011 by acclaimed Spanish artist Jaume Plensa, who recently unveiled “Echo,” his first public artwork in New York in Madison Square Park.

Also on show in Yorkshire throughout 2011 is David Hockney’s most ambitious painting to date, Bigger Trees Near Warter. First exhibited at the Royal Academy in 2007 and presented to Tate, it is the first time the painting has been on display in the UK outside of London. The painting can be seen in various galleries including The Ferens Art Gallery in Hull, less than 25 miles from where the artist originally painted it.
 
The Hockney loan forms part of ‘Art in Yorkshire - supported by Tate,’ a year-long celebration, led by York Museums Trust, of the visual arts in 19 galleries throughout Yorkshire. Works from Tate's Collection of historic, modern and contemporary art from major artists will be featured. Additionally, Sir Jacob Epstein’s Adam returns to Harewood House, Leeds, following its loan for inclusion in 'Modern British Sculpture' at the Royal Academy of Arts. Other major artists such as Damian Hirst, Patrick Heron and Henri Cartier-Bresson are also being showcased through a series of exhibitions and events.
 
In addition to visual arts, Yorkshire is also home to the Leeds-based award-winning Opera North and the Northern Ballet Theatre, whose new ballet, Cleopatra, recently opened at London’s Sadler’s Wells in front of a celebrity audience before its UK tour continues.

On the East Coast, the Open Air Theatre Scarborough  is Europe's largest open air theatre. Scarborough is also the location of The Stephen Joseph Theatre, home to Alan Ayckbourn, the world's most performed living playwright whose play, My Wonderful Day, broke box office records during its run as part of the Brits Off Broadway festival in New York.

For more information about Welcome to Yorkshire’s Arts of Yorkshire campaign, visit www.yorkshire.com/artistic.