Behind the scenes...at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Emma Spencer, Family learning co-ordinator at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
Emma Spencer, Family learning co-ordinator at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

In this month’s column, find out how to get creative with family events at YSP.

I really love my job!

Join in some fun and creative half term activities at Yorkshire Sculpture Park.''Picture credit: Charlotte Graham.

Join in some fun and creative half term activities at Yorkshire Sculpture Park.''Picture credit: Charlotte Graham.

With help from colleagues in the Learning Team, I am responsible for putting together a programme of exciting events for families, which help them to enjoy our wonderful landscape and the incredible artwork on show at the Park.

When I see a family connect with art and with each other I feel like YSP is making a difference, creating spaces for families to learn together.

The school holidays are a really lovely time here, with lots of families exploring the grounds, finding out how a Henry Moore sculpture feels, bug-hunting in the woodland, and hiding picnics from greedy sheep!

And this February half term will be no different.

To help families get creative and give them the chance to take a little piece of the park away with them, most of the events that I plan are related to our sculptures and exhibitions.

The new Zodiac Books event, on February 21, is inspired by Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads, a firm favourite by Ai Weiwei.

On the day, we’ll pay the sculpture a visit, then draw, paint, write and collage to create a fold-out book of zodiacs that families can take home. On February 20 our ARTcart, which some visitors will be familiar with, is getting a makeover.

It’s the United Nations’ World Day of Social Justice so we’re encouraging a little bit of friendly protest.

The Protest ARTcart will roam the Park, packed full of materials perfect for creating placards.

We’ll also have a go at making up our own protest songs. Come and find us to join in.

There’s a couple of sessions of Come Rain, Come Shine running on February 20.

This is a regular event of ours and is really popular, even on a grey day, because our families love making their own sculptures outside, in front of the artwork on display.

Also, on February 20, if anyone’s working towards their Arts Award Discover or Explore, we’ll be offering a free space for you to think and create.

We’ve also got a fantastic new web app, which encourages you to experience and interact with our sculptures from literally every angle!

Have a go at sculpture.cam Finally, I’d like to mention our Darktown Valentine’s Cabaret on February 17.

It’s not an event that I’ve planned, but it’s one that I think sounds great.

The artist Jonny Hannah has pulled together an impressive evening of music, singing, poetry, piano playing, films and art bingo.

Maybe more for adults, but lots of fun and silliness none-the-less!

Bookings are required for most events at ysp.org.uk/events, where you can also find out more about what’s coming up.