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Exhibition Celebrating The Best of Record Cover Design Comes to Yorkshire.


This autumn, 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.

Best Art Vinyl: 12 Years on 12 Inches will show simultaneously in Barnsley, Bologna and Budapest. The exhibition will showcase all fifty 2017 award nominees and also take a retrospective look at some of the best from the last twelve years.

Previous winners have included albums by The Last Shadow Puppets, Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour 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, Turner Prize nominee Jenny Saville, Sir Quentin Blake, Jamie Hewlett and legendary Pop artist, Sir Peter Blake.

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

Best Art Vinyl founder, Andrew Heeps explains, “It feels like a welcome return to the mainstream for the humble vinyl record, but for so many Art Vinyl enthusiasts, the record sleeve format has always been the natural ‘art’ partner to the music.” He continues, “Each year we’re taken aback as to how creative the designers become using this 12” canvas to create their art. With so many household names now producing vinyl records, it feels like a true fan of the band would feel cheated if they didn’t get the full package in beautiful vinyl.”

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 nod to the South Yorkshire Town, this exhibition of two halves also features Best Art Vinyl Barnsley; 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, Groove Armada and The Unthanks.

The final part of the exhibition will consist of a wall of records curated by visitors to the gallery. Visitors to the gallery 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.

BEST ART VINYL: 12 YEARS ON 12 INCHES opens at The Civic on 11 Nov 2017 and closes 20 January 2018.

Admission is free.

For more information and to book visit or call the Box Office on 01226 327000.