“The Art House is a brilliant resource for Wakefield and Yorkshire. With leading facilities it can host national and international artists, provide a flexible and supportive workspace for visual artists and showcase the best of visual arts.” (Arts Council England, Feb 2014)
The Art House was established in 1994 by a group of artists with a vision to provide fully-accessible studio space, where disabled artists could work alongside non-disabled artists. In the period 1994 – 2004, a small group of artists and arts professionals worked to secure funding for community arts projects, training events and artists’ residencies across Yorkshire and the Midlands.
Construction began in February 2007 on a new building in Wakefield, which included artists’ studios, accommodation, meeting rooms, community spaces and an office for The Art House team. In 2008, The Art House opened, with studios occupied by disabled and non-disabled artists. The Art House was exemplary in terms of accessibility for artists with physical disabilities.
"The Art House’s mission continues to respond to the lack of facilities available to disabled artists... the diversity remit of the organisation is extended through new activity that will see them throw national focus on challenging conventional approaches to diversity and the arts." (The Arts Council, July 2014)
Since 2008, The Art House has continued to develop and grow, working towards removing barriers for artists through residencies, professional development and mentoring for its diverse membership base. Currently The Art House has over 200 artist members, many of whom define themselves as being disabled or having a life-limiting condition. In April 2012, The Art House was selected by The Arts Council to be funded as a National Portfolio Organisation. NPO status was awarded again in July 2014 - further recognition of the valuable work The Art House does in working to provide facilties and opportunities for artists who might otherwise not be catered for.
In September 2013, The Art House secured funding through the European Regional Development Fund to extend into the old empty Drury Lane Library next door to their existing home. The redevelopment project is now complete and the converted Grade II Listed Building now houses a further 34 artists’ studios. Alongside the conversion project, ERDF also funded BELAY – a FREE business mentoring programme for artists living and working in Wakefield. Find our more about the project HERE
Art House Contact
Tel: 01924 312 000