Hailing Sheffield's willingness to embrace change and diversity

Libby Gilberthorpe Pell owns the picture framing company JoiN, based in Heeley, Sheffield.

Thursday, 8th April 2021, 7:00 am
Libby Pell at work in her framing business, Join Picture: Ryan Blackwood

With a decade of framing experience under her belt, Libby is working towards greater sustainability and accessibility within the bespoke framing world.

As an honorary Sheffielder, Libby has spent the last 10 years captivated by Sheffield’s industrious spirit and kindness, and see’s that Sheffield’s ever changing story has created a strong heritage and fluid, positive future for our City.Sheffield is a place where diversity can run alongside tradition, where craft can be led by innovation.


The Window Mural Project at the Millennium Gallery. Picture: Andrew Jackson/Street Art Sheffield

I’ve always had a soft stop for theatre, from am-dram pieces by pals to visiting the West End.

But Sheffield’s Crucible is a beacon.In 2017, ‘Everyones Talking About Jamie’ floored me. As someone who came out at school, it was incredible to see this story played out with such unapologetic confidence.

As we watched it, we knew there and then that something quite extraordinary was happening.


The Millennium Gallery is such a tribute to Sheffield. It’s been a pleasure to work with the team over the years, framing parts of their collections and even being lucky enough to check out their underground vaults.It’s a go to for Sheffield heritage, touring shows and seeing brilliant up and coming Sheffield artists.


Whether it’s their studio holders or the fantastic shows they put on, it’s always a joy to visit S1.

One exhibition in particular stands out; the Turner Prise nominee’s Assemble and Simon Bill’s The Brutalist Playground.

An immersive treat. Engaging with the arts is so important, it stretches the mind in such a unique way that benefits our day to day thinking.


The excitement of exhibition openings on summer evenings fills me with happiness - it’s great to see people gathering in the fading sun on the pavements outside Site Gallery.One of my favourite shows was the 2019 ‘Rewriting the Future’ by four female artists who explored gender, power, ecology and community.


If you know me, you’ll know I love nothing more than good conversation and great drinks.The independent pub scene here is brilliant and the brewery scene is even better.

For me, Triple Point, The Stag, Sheaf View, Broadfield, Public, Tonco, Bench… oof the list could go on. We are truly spoilt for choice and should treasure the hospitality community we have here.

To sum up, Sheffield’s patience, kindness and willingness to embrace change and diversity is my favourite thing.

From the arts to engineering to tech and science, it’s a brilliant place to live and work.