Cooper Gallery and Museum

We have so many memories of visiting here for workshops and exhibitions. We have seen some very good exhibitions such as the Terry Brookes exhibition. I had already seen his, 'The Beatles come to Barnsley' at Experience Barnsley and was blown away by his originality. What a fab idea for his paintings! I have bought my favourites in both museum gift shops. The Beatles' Abbey Road at the bottom of Market Hill has to be my fave. I loved the Casa Disco picture too, bringing back memories of scouring through LPs on a Saturday morning. At the Cooper, there was a Terry Brookes' moped you could sit on, helmet on head, and take a picture. I love his use of colour and the nod to music legends. His placing of people like Morrissey and The Smiths in famous Yorkshire landmarks and places is very clever and effective.

We have recently visited the photo exhibition and it was that amazing, I went again! Photographers around the world had entered. My favourites were of the Aurora Boreulis, the sun and the moon. Astounding! There was corner where you could dress up as an astronaut but we weren't sure the dimensions of the suit would fit! Saw this post on Facebook. Didn't even realise it was National Tourism Week!

The Bear exhibition featuring famous storybook beard such as Paddington and Winnie the Pooh was lovely too. They had made an under the stairs scene. On that visit, we had a laugh dressing up with hats and scarves and posing through the wall painting frame, pretending we were the queen!

We love the cafe here. Good, quality, homemade food. Especially their quiche. It takes me back to the wholefood shop Pickerings. I used to love their homemade quiche and side salad pastas. Their pasta bakes are lovely too.

They do an amazing pie and peas also. I love it when they open later for the Light Switch in Barnsley town centre and we go there first for some lovely food to warm us up before standing outside for a few hours in front of the Town Hall!

My favourite memory here is having lunch with a lovely friend and our girls. She sent to the toilet but while she was there I was asked to sign us up for a drawing and pastelling Art class. I was well up for it! When my find nonchalantly came out of the ladies, She couldn't believe what I'd done! We went upstairs and sat in a circle. The lady instructor informed us we would need clipboards, pencils and paper to take to Barnsley Market and draw people. My friend's face was a picture. I wish I could have drawn that! I could see the steam coming out of her nose! No way were we drawing people in the market! She did humour me though and we agreed to draw people whilst we sat on a bench outside the then Blah Bar! We did everything she asked. A bit like our Geography school field trip where I literally did stand on most corners and counted every person. Why didn't I just make it up like most of the others? We went back to the Cooper Gallery after drawing and it was fab! The easels came out and we started using pastels to create a picture. I loved it! My friend is very wary now when she leaves me for a few minutes. What will I sign us up to next?
It is lovely to sit outside too in the Spring and Summer. You can enter by the gate around the back and there is a lovely little garden there. We went last May around the Tour de Yorkshire time and loved the yellow bicycle. The tables on the patio are fab as it's a sun trap in the afternoon.

The cafe has been here a long time and is a favourite of ours. We love everything there, sweet and savoury. I tend to order an Americano here. It goes nicely with the homemade cakes! I went today and got my order mixed up so ended up with a cappuccino which was lovely too.

I always love visiting the shop after the cafe. I start on the side wall with all the cabinets filled with gorgeous hand made jewellery, pots and glassware. There are also lovely framed paintings and pictures. The products are so unique and lovely.

My favourite jewellery from here is Brownfish designs. I have loved these since they came into the gallery. The lady is so talented and I am amazed at the wonderful pieces she makes from old tins. The bright colours catch my eye but I always tend to buy blue! The prices are very good. I follow the lady on Facebook and I saw her one day in the Created in Yorkshire shop in Wakefield. I felt starstruck and my friend (the one who gets signed up for things with me) thought I was so funny when I was talking to her! I really like my most recent pair of earings. The rest of the gift shop is filled with more quality handmade products and fab cards. From today, I am the proud owner of a Barnsley card so can get discount in the shop.


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