The Cooper Gallery shortlisted for National Award

The Cooper Gallery has been shortlisted for the Association for Heritage Interpretation (AHI) – Engaging People Awards 2021, sponsored by Creative Core.

Entries for the awards reached record highs with submissions from a wide range of organisations, including community groups, community arts and wellbeing organisations, museums, galleries, national heritage organisations, wildlife organisations and interpretation practitioners, all of whom produced high quality projects and amazing activities against the difficult backdrop of Covid-19.

The Cooper Gallery has been shortlisted in the Community Engagement category, sponsored by Anglezarke Dixon Associates and Red Kite Environment, for work around their Allegories of the Senses exhibition.

The exhibition, which was on display in the Gallery last summer and is still available to discover digitally, explored the five senses and included a range of work that represented them in different ways.

Accessibility and inclusion was an important focus for the exhibition and the display was carefully co curated by Action for Autism and Asperger’s Barnsley (AfAAB). Through a series of workshops, the group studied and debated potential artworks before making their final selection. Their invaluable feedback gave a unique perspective on how the exhibition was shaped and displayed.

The winner of the award will be revealed later in the year.

Cllr Tim Cheetham, Cabinet Spokesperson for Place at Barnsley Council, said: “Engaging with communities is at the very heart of what we do. Our museums, galleries and heritage spaces are places to share stories and experiences and in doing so bring people together. We are delighted to be nominated for this award, as this unique and very special project allowed us to work collaboratively with Action for Autism and Asperger’s Barnsley offering a whole new and refreshing perspective on the curatorial process. We are extremely grateful for their input and dedication in making it such as wonderful exhibition.”

To watch the digital experience, visit