The Hepworth Wakefield Image via Telegraph The Hepworth Wakefield
Image via Telegraph

Wallis has overseen the development of The Hepworth Wakefield, which opened in May 2011. As the gallery's first employee, his initial years in Wakefield were spent developing the vision, business plan, new gallery team and programme, while advocating for the project regionally and nationally.

31303581 Simon Wallis
Image via

Recently he led a project to give life to the Caddies Wainwright Mill, a 19th century former textiles mill on the River Calder adjacent to the gallery. Beginning the project in 2013, the 600 square metre ground floor of the historic building opened The Calder in August of the same year, a new art and events space that extends The Hepworth Wakefield's existing offer.

Simon is a founding member of the Yorkshire Sculpture Triangle that comprises The Hepworth Wakefield and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, The Henry Moore Institute and Leeds Art Gallery. He is also helping a founding member of a new initiative for cultural leaders in the West Yorkshire region called The Culture Club.

Simon Wallis, Director of The Hepworth Wakefield said: "I'm absolutely delighted to receive this honour – especially at this timely moment following the gallery's fourth birthday. I feel the credit for the OBE very much deserves to be shared among the wonderful team at The Hepworth Wakefield, as well as my friends and family, who together, have tirelessly helped to support me in developing and realising the ambitions I have for the gallery. It's been an amazing 7 years since I first began as Director of The Hepworth Wakefield and we have many exciting plans for the next phase of our development, which I am looking forward to seeing come to fruition."

David Liddiment, Chair of The Hepworth Wakefield said: "I would like to congratulate Simon and the gallery on this honour that recognises his leadership in bringing the dream of The Hepworth Wakefield to reality. Simon has a great passion for, and understanding of, the social and economic benefits of culture-led regeneration and I am delighted that his contribution to The Hepworth Wakefield and the visual arts has been acknowledged in this way."