Sheila Graber Season at The Customs House

Published: 20th February 2020

If you love art then don’t miss Sheila Graber Season at The Customs House…

We are delighted to share that Sheila Season is coming to The Customs House in late summer through to autumn! When Sheila approached Ray Spencer with the idea at The Customs House it was an easy yes.

Ray Spencer MBE Executive director said:

The words icon and legend are often over used but not in Sheila Graber’s case. Sheila has spent her life producing stunning animations, sculptures and works of art. But perhaps her lasting legacy are the thousands of young people she has taught. She encourages and empowers them to be creative. They rightly feel art is about their lives and should the arts to be embraced and celebrated.

We are honored and thrilled to welcome this celebration of Sheila’s work in this exhibition which marks 80 glorious years of Sheila from Shields. Be sure not to miss this speacial season at The Customs House South Shields.

Sheila at The Heart of Culture in South Tyneside

Sheila Graber started her career as an art teacher in South Shields. She then moved into supporting other teachers to embrace new digital technology including animation before launching her career as an animator. Her credits include classics like Just So Stories and the original Paddington Bear from the 80s TV series.

We are proud to share that Sheila Graber is also a Customs House fellow. This honor was awarded for her contribution to culture in South Tyneside and beyond. Sheila has shown enduring support for our artistic and participatory work.

‘An Animated Life’

The exhibition at The Customs House ‘An Animated Life’ opens on Friday 10th July at 6pm. ‘An Animated Life’ will show a range of never before seen drawings and artworks used to create animations. This amazing selection of artworks were being stored by the BFI archive in London. Sheila was overjoyed to be reunited with her artwork from her illustrious career.

With Sheila’s permission we are pleased to share some of the artworks will be available for sale. This is a rare opportunity to purchase an affordable piece by Sheila Graber.

Exhibition Opening and Special Screening

Everyone is welcome at the preview at The Customs House gallery opens at 6pm on Friday 10th July. Sheila and The Customs House hope many of her friends, followers and fellow artists will join us.

An Animated Life

The preview will be followed by a free event later on the same evening in the cinema. Ray Spencer will chat with Sheila about her life’s work and a show-reel of animations will be played on the big screen.

Elizabeth Kane Learning and Participation officer said:

“In her career spanning 60 years Sheila’s animations have covered a whole host of subjects. She’s taken inspiration from her roots here in Tyneside, her love of animals, stories of local interest and other artists.

Sheila is smashing to work with. Despite her impressive career she is completely down to earth and is generous with her time. She has worked with The Customs House on learning projects, breathed life into the Cheshire Cat for our panto Alice in Wonderland, and created animated sets youth theatre shows.

Her work is so varied and she’s inspired so many people. Everyone who visits will find their own spark of creativity. Who knows? Perhaps it will inspire you to live by her motto ‘everyone is an artist”

The event is free but there will be a collection afterwards with the money going to support The Customs House.

Booking is essential please call box office on 0191 427 1234 or click here

Two Chances to Enjoy A Cuppa, Cake and Animated talk

Alongside the preview and her talk with Ray The Customs House are also putting on two further talks. Enjoy a hot drink, piece of cake and hear from entertaining speakers at Sheila’s events.

My Tyneside – Wed 12th Aug 2020 starting at 2pm in Daltons Suite £5 per person.

My Tyneside

Hear from former Shields Gazette Features Editor and local historian Janis Blower as she explores Sheila Graber’s ‘My Tyneside’ illustrated book. Local landmarks brought to life. A journey through time depicted by one of Tyneside’s great artists.

If you loved our Shields on Film event don’t miss this chance to walk down memory lane once again.

To book your tickets please call box office on 0191 427 1234 or click here.

Amazing Artists: Wed 9th Sep 2020 starting at 2pm in the Daltons Suite at The Customs House £5 per person

Amazing Artists

Jean Stokes joins Sheila Graber. Together they talk about Sheila’s animated exploration of some of the most well loves artists from Van Gogh’s Cypress Trees to Modrain’s Boogie Woogie. Perfect for those curious about the lives of artists and those with an interest in the history of art

To book your tickets please call box office on 0191 427 1234 or click here.

For media inquiries please contact Angela Reed Press and PR Officer (part time)

We’d love to see your photos from this exhibition tag us and we will share a selection via social media.

  • #CustomsHouseSouthShields
  • #CustomsHouseLP
  • #GreatGraber
  • #OneMoreTime

Psst! Coming very soon ‘Sheila from Shields’

This exhibition and series of events compliment her exhibition ‘Sheila from Shields’ coming to South Shields Museum and Art Gallery in May. For more information click here.

Sheila at South Shields Museum and Art Gallery