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Explore Art and Culture

Art is an important part of the city’s identity


With renowned galleries like Leeds Art Gallery and The Henry Moore Institute showcasing work from around the world, independent galleries and Leeds College of Art, there’s plenty of opportunity to experience the unique culture of Leeds.

Take your time exploring Leeds’ visual art and head for the recently refurbished Leeds Art Gallery which has the best twentieth century collection outside London.

But the creativity of Leeds can’t just be seen in an art gallery. Based in the centre of the Yorkshire Sculpture Triangle, there are numerous pieces that give Leeds a unique urban landscape, such as the Black Prince in City Square and the stunning Mandela Gardens in Millennium Square.

A lot of the city’s public art is also hidden in plain sight. Look out for junction boxes covered in life’s biggest questions by the train station, arm rests shaped like little dogs on Lands Lane and a subway tunnel on Woodhouse Lane decorated with a musical who’s who of Leeds.

Henry Moore Institute - Credit Intermarketing
The Tetley - Credit Matt Dale



There’s also encouragement to get a new generation interested in the arts. The Tetley, who specialise in contemporary art, host workshops and activities for children of all ages, from finger painting to family orientated projects inspired by their exhibitions.

Leeds is also home to a number of art collectives, charities and organisations that encourage and showcase work from both local and international artists, including East Street Arts, who have studios and spaces all over Leeds




This love of the arts is also prevalent in the number of festivals and celebrations held in Leeds throughout the year. Light Night is a huge fixture on the calendar, turning the entire city into an art installation, with light shows and events that offer a unique view of the city.

Love Arts Festival raises awareness of mental illness through public art, while Thought Bubble celebrates comic book and graphic novel art on Leeds Dock, with some huge names from the industry giving lectures and signing exclusive artwork every single year.

Light Night
Kenneth Tindall and Keiko Amemori in Swan Lake - Photo by Bill Cooper


Leeds is proud to be one of the only UK cities outside London to boast both its own Opera House and Ballet Company.

Opera North is England’s national opera company in the North and one of Europe’s leading arts organisations. 

Northern Ballet is a Leeds based touring ballet company who have performed all over the country.

Both companies regularly perform at Leeds' many theatrical venues. Upcoming shows include Northern Ballet's Swan Lake and Andrea Chenier by Opera North, so you can catch world class shows right here in Leeds City Centre.