Notices and Events

International record cover award comes to Barnsley

This Saturday, Best Art Vinyl, an international award celebrating the best in record cover design, comes to Barnsley as part of an exciting new exhibition featuring a host of renowned names from the world of music, art, design and photography.

Now in its 12th year, Best Art Vinyl is a unique award celebrating record cover art, compiling the global opinion on the best in art, photography and graphic design in modern music culture.

Previous winners have included albums by The Last Shadow Puppets and Radiohead’s Thom York, and nominated albums have featured artwork by varied and illustrious names, such as sixteenth century Dutch master Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Sir Quentin Blake, Jamie Hewlett and legendary Pop artist, Sir Peter Blake.

Visitors to the exhibition will be able to vote for which record they thinks deserves to win the Best Art Vinyl award.

The exhibition’s co-curator, Jason White says: “Many designers have made their name by creating artworks for famous bands, such as Peter Saville for New order and Joy Division, or Stanley Donwood for Radiohead and Thom York.

“Rather than being constrained by the 12 inch format, a good record cover can perfectly encapsulate what both the musician and designer are about. The record cover is also a very democratic medium; here you’ll find 500 year old Dutch masters hung alongside celebrated children’s illustrators.”

In a second part of the exhibition, a wall of records will be curated by visitors to the gallery, who will be invited to frame their favourite vinyl record sleeves and leave a note describing what it means to them or a favourite musical memory.

Finally, another section takes an in-depth look at twelve of the town’s own vinyl record covers, by musicians either from or living in Barnsley, including Saxon, Rolo Tomassi, The Black Lamps (see picture), Groove Armada and The Unthanks.

Included amongst the twelve selected sleeve designs is a painting by an Eisner Award winning comic book artist, photography by local historian Ted Tasker, an original painting by Paul Gregory – the artist behind over twenty Saxon records – and a design by Grammy Award Winner, Barnbrook, who won the 2017 award for Best Recording Package for David Bowie’s Blackstar.

  • Best Art Vinyl: 12 years on 12 inches, opens at the Civic on 11 November and closes on 20 January 2018. Admission is free.

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