Here's what we've achieved so far
April 2019: A review by Patrick Ball for Now Then.
The Orange Cheesecake exhibition fills every wall of the Art space from floor to ceiling. The effect can be a little overwhelming in its profusion of colours and styles, and even more in the volume of creative energy on display - and not on display, as the gallery's centre is taken up by a a huge pile of work for which there is no space. The exhibition spills beyond its boundaries.
The artists are adults with learning disabilities, and the exhibition is a product of two years' worth of weekly art sessions at the Burton Street Foundation. It is a showcase of both personal and community expression, bringing artists and artworks that are too often overlooked into the heart of the city and a dialogue with the wider public.
Among many other things, the exhibition contains a huge grid of A4 pages in highlighter-bright patterns; a suite of sombre and monumental abstract still-lifes. the illustrated adventures of an angry police officer'; imposing hanging banners of dripping paint; a collection of ghostly, stark sunset scenes, big textured fields of deep purple and red grinning figures superimposed on scarlet newsprint; and dozens of superheroes.
The work is presented anonymously and without captions, though some of the artists sign and label their pieces. This provides an opportunity for the viewer to contemplate the paintings as belonging both to individual bodies of work, with highly personal and often generous modes of expression, and as parts of a single community collection. Certain themes - belonging, home, the joy of small things- move through the work of a multiple of Artists.
The pile of unhung work in the gallery's centre sends a powerful and moving message about the quantity and scope of art that people are capable of creating when given the necessary space, time and support. it also shows us how easily the work of outsider artists can languish ignored even when those resources are provided. the decision, then, to overwhelm the visitor, with pieces crammed to the rafters and covering every centimetre of available space, carries the same kind of faith and joy in creation that is visible in so much of the work.
In this way Orange Cheesecake represents two complementary opportunities: a sadly rare chance for its artists to see their art arranged and displayed, all speaking together for the public, and an equally rare opportunity for the rest of us to discover it.
Patrick Ball, April 2019
Open Up Sheffield
Note from a Project Worker
I feel like this is another real opportunity to bring these artists work to a greater audience held against their peers in the artistic community in Sheffield and beyond. With my baring witness to the developing processes of these artists and their journeys through their creative practices I have seen massive growth and development in the value ascribed to their work.
Work which has a positive outcome for the artists themselves allowing self worth to rise up as we raise the pictures to the café walls or hung from Bamforth Buildings joists on chains as we did in Art from the Heart.
In my time at Burton Street Foundation I have been involved in creating these opportunities to showcase the creative output from our sessions run by myself and other project workers trying to instill a pride in the quality of the artist work regardless of capacity or intent. There are many clients onsite whom I feel with the right exposure and time would become practicing selling artists on the merits of their work alone. We do great work here, but it cannot stay here, we need to create as many opportunities as possible to exhibit in the wider community to give our clients the chance to become standing members in the artistic community. We put the exhibition Articulate on in 35 Chapel Walk Art Space last year for exactly that reason to show the art world that we are here and we are trying to create artistic futures for the people that we work with.
If you have exhibition space share it with us, if you have ideas share them with us, if you want us represented in your group show, if you want to join us in this journey please join us. Contact
Daniel White, April 2018
A. Spencer speaking about how exhibiting in the Articulate exhibition made him feel “It made me feel like I was a professional artist for once.” 2017.
Art From the Heart
An ambitious project undertaken in Bamforth Building at our site in Sheffield.
Containing over 200 works hung on chains in our largest room. The collection represented the variety and depth of artistic output at Burton Street made onsite over the years. We also exhibited works from The Alzheimers Society service that is based in Bamforth Building. Audio Art by Under The Stars who are based on our site and film made in B.T.V. and Film Crew sessions run by our service.