Sunday, 26 July 2015

The Next Self Help Meetings

Two more dates have been added to the Self Help workshop programme for this year.

Saturday 24th October 2015

Saturday 5th December 2015

The days last from around 10:00am to 4:00pm and are held at St Andrews Church Hall in Bishopsthorpe. 

The Blank Canvas Project

Blank Canvas is run by a charity called Skippko Arts, who have a portfolio of empty shops on temporary short term lets (between 2-3 weeks each) for art related exhibitions and functions.

Last Wednesday they were holding an 'open day so Phil Hart went along to have a look at the latest shop to be available and find out a little more.

The latest shop on 4-6 Gillygate, opposite Bootham, is huge and probably something like half the area of the DeGrey Rooms venue that we used for our last few exhibitions.

Blank Canvas charge a token fee of around £20 per week for each vacant shop on their books. They cover all electricity used,  Exhibitors may consider insuring their work but there are no other hidden costs. Once the fee has been exhchanged for the keys, Exhibitors cam open whatever days and times they prefer.

There will be plenty of other shops coming up in future.  Shops are always completely empty and would need display boards, seats, tables, etc. to make them work.

This looks like a very cheap way to get work exhibited in prime locations and could be a good substitute for the 'open air' exhibitions that used to take place.

Blank Canvas prefer a group to take part rather than an individual so we  are asking Members to let us know if there is any interest in a joint trial if a suitable venue comes up in a good spot. We would need volunteers to help set-up and manage through the letting period. Please send your thoughts and comments to so the Committee can decide whether this would be a viable project.

If you want to find out more try these links

or go along to the next open day on Tuesday at StoneBow House.

York Art Gallery re-opens on Yorkshire Day.

After almost three years of refurbishment, York Art Gallery finally re-opens on Yorkshire Day, this coming Saturday 1st August.  The gallery’s collection of Italian Old Masters will be displayed, complimented by loans from major public collections.

The £8 million development means there is now 60% more display space across a number of galleries.

The Madsen Galleries - a new suite of three galleries on the ground floor named after brother and sister Peter and Karen Madsen, who left their £2.2 million estate to York Art Gallery to help fund the development. The opening displays will include highlights of the Lycett Green Collection by Italian Old Masters from the 14th to the 18th Century and an exhibition of some of York Art Gallery’s best views of the city, including Clifford’s Tower by L.S Lowry and the other 1950s works that were commissioned as part of the Evelyn Award, including the famous work of .

The Burton Gallery - featuring the gallery’s most famous Victorian, Modern and Contemporary works, including pieces by Walter Sickert, Sir Stanley Spencer, David Bomberg, Paul Nash, David Hockney, Sarah Lucas and Henri Fantin-Latour and, of course, William Etty.

The North Gallery Upper - The exhibition The Lumber Room: Unimagined Treasures, is curated and created by York based artist Mark Hearld. It will feature objects from across York Museums Trust’s collections, including oil paintings, works on paper, taxidermy and social history.
Mark will also create new work in response to the objects including individually decorated ceramic slip cast horses made in response to the Leeds Horses in the collection.

The Centre of Ceramic Art (CoCA) -  housed in two new spaces created within York Art Gallery – the mezzanine level in the original Victorian Roof Void and a newly built gallery above the Madsen Galleries.

You are encouraged to read more about the new improved gallery on their own site.

More controversially the Gallery will now be charging a £7.50 admission fee.  There's been a fair amount of coverage in The Press recently which you can read at these links.

An outdoor protest against the cuts in Arts funding is also planned for Saturday to coincide with the re-opening. Thank you to Helen Graham for bringing this to our notice. The organisers have issued the following statement

York Museums Trust have proposed to charge York residents for entry. Come and show your support for a free and open art gallery through unleashing your own creativity. While the paintings and ceramics are in the gallery, art is in the streets!"
  • Bring your artwork to be displayed in a York Free Art Gallery in Exhibition Square
  • Develop your own art work on the day and add it to the open exhibition 
  • Help develop an active community around the Art Gallery linking the city's collections with all of us as creators of York's art, culture, history and heritage. 

See more and follow developments on FaceBook.

Yorkshire Market at Nunnington Hall

Advance news from Lin Taylor that she will be exhibiting at the Yorkshire Market to be held at Nunnington Hall on Sunday 23rd August.

More detail and directions can be found on Nunnington Hall's own site

Self Help Group in August

Just a reminder that the next Self Help Workshop takes place on Saturday 1st August.

Usual venue, times and rules apply.  St Andrews Church Hall, Bishopsthorpe from around 10:00am to 4:00pm. This is very informal and you can work in any media you choose to bring along with you.

Everyone welcome.  The cost is £6 to cover rental of the hall.  Refreshments are available during the day but preparing your own packed lunch is advised.

If you've not been before and you need a little encouragement or just want more information about the day, feel free to call Lin Taylor on 01904 702590 or email to

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Art Without Fuss

As we move into our summer recess, thank you to Sadie Ashton for drawing our attention to this event at St Helen's, Escrick in September.

Art Without Fuss takes place at St Helen's Church Escrick over the weekend of 17th to 19th September 2015.   Artists can rent pews for £5 each and there is no limit to the entries that can be displayed in the allotted space.

20% of proceeds go to St Helen's Church.  This was a very successful event in 2014, so we urge you to go along and support this year's show,

For more details contact Sadie on 01904 728303 or

July Demonstration

Our profound appreciation is extended to Sonia Bacchus for the fine demonstration at Saturday's meeting.  We'd really like to get her back for a workshop next year so if you're interested please let us know by emailing the blog or leaving a comment below.


And thanks again to Julie Lightburn for providing these photos.

Stockton on the Forest

Apologies for the late notice but, if you're stuck for ideas for this Sunday, why not pop along to York Stockton on the Forest Open Gardens for art tea and Wimbledon.

What more could anyone ask ?

If you need more encouragement, this includes a small exhibition by our very own Julie Lightburn and Sue Richmond.