(Until Saturday 20th June 2020)
Thursday 25th June 2020 7.00 - 8.00pm
"Keeping culture open online
and helping the arts community stay strong in Sheffield during lockdown."
Press Release 07.06.20
In 2019 Sheffield Hallam University received a donation of £2,000 from a Sheffield artist to support students in the Department of Art & Design to travel across the UK to view some of the world’s best collections of works of art such as those held in the National Gallery, National Portrait gallery, the Tate Galleries and galleries in Glasgow and elsewhere.
Local artist Joyce Spurr has spent a lifetime not only painting portraits, but also Sheffield scenes and many locations around the UK and Europe, and a number of her works are held in the City’s art collections. Shortly Joyce will be celebrating her 99th birthday. Sadly, she is now almost blind and moved to Tapton Edge, a local residential home, nearly two years ago where she is greatly enjoying being well cared for by the very attentive management and staff.
Picture copyright: Rita Fletcher
Joyce Spurr, (right) pictured with Clara Morgan of Museums Sheffield, holding Joyce's 1976 picture of
Enid Hattersley, Lord Mayor of Sheffield in 1981. (see separate article following this, below).
Joyce has chosen to fund a new travel bursary to support art students through sales of her own work at various exhibitions being organised by her friends Sheila Pantry OBE, Rita Fletcher and Steve Attwood.
Sadly, due to the Coronavirus Lockdown, the planned 2020 Easter Saturday exhibition was cancelled. This event would have showcased many wonderful paintings still remaining from what started as her magnificent collection of 188 framed paintings and 201 unframed paintings. Some have already been sold but many are still available to be purchased. Once the lockdown is over there will be more exhibitions, which will provide more funds supporting SHU students through the Joyce Spurr Travel Fund.
The Joyce Spurr Travel Fund was established last year to support the next generation of artists currently studying art at the University and will help current students attend art exhibitions across the UK to inspire and develop their own practice and aspirations. Before the lockdown brought in restrictions to travel, Catherine Etheridge, a final year BA Fine Art student, successfully applied for a Joyce Spur Travel Bursary to visit The Modern Institute in Glasgow.
Catherine said “I applied for the bursary because it would give me the opportunity to travel further to exhibitions that were specifically relevant to my practice. I absolutely loved the exhibitions I was able to visit. Seeing the paintings in real life was a completely different experience to researching the work online.”
“I would like to thank Joyce Spurr for her kind and generous support. I wouldn't have been able to travel to Glasgow to see these exhibitions without this funding, and it was an experience that has definitely inspired me moving forward in my work.”
The Joyce Spurr Travel Fund is currently closed for applications but will reopen to students in the autumn term when government travel restrictions are relaxed. Sheffield Hallam University philanthropy manager Cat Dale said “the university would like to thank Joyce for her kind generosity to support our art students by providing them with the possibility of travel to explore and develop their passion. We look forward to joining Joyce at her next exhibition of work and hope to see her again very soon.
Hard times for students
Many students at UK colleges and universities are currently experiencing hardship as part-time jobs have ceased and families are facing financial pressures under the lockdown. Sheffield Hallam University have launched an emergency appeal to support students who are facing unprecedented challenges as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The Sheffield Hallam Coronavirus Appeal is providing financial support to students who are facing significant barriers through food vouchers and hardship bursaries to ensure they can continue with their studies.
Donations can be made via the Sheffield Hallam University Coronavirus Appeal website:
For larger donations, please contact Philanthropy Manager Cat Dale directly by email:
Organisers of The Joyce Spurr Art Exhibitions:
Sheila Pantry OBE
Tel 01909 771024
97 year old Sheffield artist Joyce Spurr has spent a lifetime painting a range of subjects including portraits, Sheffield scenes and many locations around the UK and Europe. One such portrait was painted by Joyce in 1976 when Enid Hattersley, then chair of Sheffield Libraries Arts Committee – later in 1981 Lord Mayor, posed for The Graves Art Group.
Joyce decided to donate the portrait to Museums Sheffield and on Wednesday 7th November 2018 Clara Morgan, Curator of the Social History department, visited Joyce at her residential home Tapton Edge to formally receive the painting.
During her working lifetime Joyce was Deputy Head of Sheffield City Libraries, Commerce, Science and Technology Department and in 1958 became Head of Information Services at the United Steel Companies Research and Development Department, Swinden Laboratories, Moorgate, Rotherham until her retirement in 1986.
She was on duty at the Sheffield City Libraries at the time of the Sheffield Blitz and later painted a picture of a burning tram on The Moor. This picture is now in the Sheffield Museums collection and also some of her other paintings showing Sheffield Industrial scenes.
Joyce’s story appears in Neil Anderson’s book ` The Forgotten Blitz’ as chapter 12.
Joyce served for four years during World War II with the British Army in Egypt as a wireless operator sending messages to Bletchley Park in the UK.
Her neighbours Steve Attwood and Rita Fletcher along with Joyce’s long standing friend, Sheila Pantry rescued all Joyce’s art work which have now been included in 3 exhibitions and sales.
These sales have enabled Joyce’s work to be purchased by her neighbours, friends and art world acquaintances. Joyce, who has a passion for art, wants her work to be enjoyed by others.
(See photograph in previous article, above)
Our Coronavirus Appeal for helping the most vulnerable families:
For a regular notification of all the wonderful cultural events
going on in Sheffield, email:
and she will send you a Cultural Update.
(Event Established 2004)
Open to all Sheffield Junior, Senior, Special and Independent Schools
(Entry through Schools only).