20-21 Visual Arts Centre

21 Visual Arts Centre
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20-21 is a contemporary visual arts centre located in the centre of Scunthorpe.

The arts centre has a regularly changing programme of contemporary art and craft exhibitions. There are five exhibition spaces, including the impressive Nave gallery inside the former St. John's church and an outdoor sculpture courtyard.

Venue Type:


Opening hours

Tue-Sat 1000-1600
Cafe open 1000-1500 (until 1600 weekends)

Closed: Bank Holiday Mondays

Admission charges


Collection details

Decorative and Applied Art, Design, Fine Art, Photography

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
Seasons: A Get Crafty Showcase at 20-21 Visual Arts Centre, Scunthorpe. Photo credit: Les Monaghan

Seasons: A Get Crafty Showcase

  • 21 October 2017 — 24 March 2018 *on now

Get Crafty, our popular weekly session, offers creative crafts and artist-run activities for adults with additional needs. Throughout summer 2017, the group has been working with regionally based artists Dominic Heffer, Nicky Dillerstone and Les Monaghan to create a new installation in for our gallery showcase. This bright and vibrant exhibition promises to take visitors on a journey through all four seasons, with artworks from Get Crafty members that include painting, photography and sculpture.

Suitable for

  • Any age



Hotel Drawings, 20-21 Visual Arts Centre

Hotel Drawings

  • 13 January — 24 March 2018 *on now

Inspired by the nomadic German artist Martin Kippenberger’s well known Hotel Drawings, 20-21 Visual Arts Centre put out an open invitation for artists to send artworks on branded hotel note paper, or small works on paper that use Kippenberger’s transient drawings as inspiration.

It’s not uncommon for hotels to provide a notepad and stationary in each room for guests to use. For artist’s travelling for work or pleasure, often the lure of such readily available materials is irresistible and they can’t help but be creative. Kippenberger, who stayed in hotels for weeks or months at a time, used these ready made materials to create hundreds of drawings and form one of his most significant bodies of work.

The invitation to artists received a phenomenal response from across the globe, with artists from as far away as Japan, USA and Australia sending works to be included. The result is an exhibition of over 100 artworks that are intriguing, humorous, bizarre and beautiful, exhibited in showcases throughout the gallery.

Sent by mail to Scunthorpe, from all four corners of the world, these small works on paper give an insight into the artist’s mind, and how artists use the often mundane time spent during travel, as inspiration, and opportunity to let the mind wander.

Suitable for

  • Any age



Jane Walker: Lines

Jane Walker: Lines

  • 20 January — 24 March 2018 *on now

The paintings of Sheffield-based artist Jane Walker explore the pictorial image and how we represent three dimensional objects in two dimensional form.

In her work she aims to flatten the world around her, creating new surfaces and items that are specific to their medium. Recently her works have depicted dense urban environments, cities from which she creates a network of lines. Walker also incorporates writing and gestures that are personal, looking at tensions and influences on the urban scene and reasons that cause city-dwellers to stress. For this show, Walker has used her unique style to capture the life and soul of Scunthorpe.

Suitable for

  • Any age



'A Nation is an Idea' by Graham Lewinton

Introducing: Graham Lewinton

  • 27 February — 24 March 2018 *on now

After the success of our ‘Introducing’ exhibitions in 2015, 20-21 presents a new series of solo exhibitions, showcasing some of the best artists in the Humber and Lincolnshire regions. Next up is Graham Lewinton. A creator with no formal training in art, Lewinton worked in mental health at St. Johns in Lincoln until he retired on medical grounds. He now makes elaborate mixed-media artworks that tackle global politics, world news and injustice.

He says of his work: “Thousands of people paint/do art. Some do it really well, millions can’t tell the difference, so I try to make images that communicate something of the world, in an attempt to try and make it a better place.”

Suitable for

  • Any age



Naseem Darbey: We Are Saved by Loss

Naseem Darbey: We Are Saved by Loss

  • 2 March — 21 April 2018 *on now

The universal human concepts of life, loss, and hope are explored in Naseem Darbey‘s exhibition, We Are Saved By Loss.

Darbey engages with challenging topics through references to science, art and philosophy, and highlights the profound connection between the cosmos and the human body and the body’s ability to undergo constant change. The exhibition offers the viewer the opportunity to consider what it means to be human in the wider context of the universe through Darbey’s signature “hollow drawings,” that combine traditional textile techniques with lighting technology to interpret physical morphology and pathology. Although the exhibition explores serious, sometimes sombre themes, it also ponders and expands on the wonder of life and what is gained and created through loss.

Naseem Darbey: We Are Saved By Loss features the artist’s trademark 3D textile hollow drawing sculptural ‘specimens’ created by ‘drawing’ freehand on a sewing machine. Darbey focuses on the universal truth of pathological change and morphology in the human body. The concepts she explores provoke a conversation around disease and renewal as inescapable functions of the human form. These concepts in turn inspire audiences to think about biological processes and how each human is part of and in scale with the cosmic universe.

Suitable for

  • Any age



'Lee Coleman: Reprise' Poster

Lee Coleman: Reprise

  • 17 March — 14 April 2018 *on now

It’s been ten years since ‘Mr Faceless’ – artist Lee Coleman’s blank-faced character – made his first appearance at 20-21 Visual Arts Centre.

Since then Coleman has gone from strength to strength, and crowds have flocked to exhibitions and events featuring his distinctive character, as well as his more recent depictions of mod and pop culture.

Born and raised in Scunthorpe, in his mid-teenage years Coleman appeared in a number of productions for the local Youth Theatre and when one of his fellow cast members decided to leave and move to Liverpool, as a parting gift, he drew a picture. Coleman has been drawing and doodling ever since, making time to craft his emotionally charged drawings, often as a way of winding down from the stresses of his ‘day job’ – a paramedic for East Midland Ambulance Service.

Mr Faceless originally appeared as a character in Coleman’s first solo show at our gallery in 2008. He created his anonymous and enigmatic character as a way of capturing visceral or challenging scenarios without revealing facial expressions, using body language and location alone.

Despite the popularity of Mr Faceless, in recent years Coleman has been concentrating on new work, often depicting his passion for scooters, music and Mod fashion. Now, after five years in hiatus, Mr Faceless makes his triumphant return to our Nave gallery, in what promises to be a suave and stylish exhibition, with a few surprises for Mr Faceless fans!

Suitable for

  • Any age



Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
Artist Naseem Darbey

Forced Perspective Photography Workshop with Naseem Darbey

  • 3 April 2018 10am

Learn how to create forced perspective photographic images to share on social media. Bring your own camera-equipped mobile or digital camera and try some of the techniques the artist used in Naseem Darbey: We Are Saved By Loss.

Suitable for all ages. FREE to take part in this drop-in session – no need to book!

Suitable for

  • Any age


FREE to take part in this drop-in session – no need to book!



20-21 Visual Arts Centre
Church Square
DN15 6TB


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General enquiries



01724 297070


01724 297080

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.