It’s open house for York­shire artists

Mix­ing art and stun­ning scenery is a big part of the suc­cess of the an­nual North York­shire Open Stu­dios, says Chris Bond. MEET SOME OF THE ARTISTS

Yorkshire Post - Culture & The Guide - - ART -

AN as­para­gus farmer, a spe­cial­ist in Vic­to­rian pho­tog­ra­phy and a sculp­tor who has worked on church restora­tions. Th­ese are just a few of the 120 artists, sculp­tors and de­sign­ers who are open­ing their stu­dio doors for the next two week­ends as part of North York­shire Open Stu­dios 2013.

The free an­nual event, now in its ninth year, re­turns to­mor­row giv­ing vis­i­tors the chance not only to meet lo­cal artists and see their work, but to ex­plore the stun­ning North York­shire land­scape in the process.

The stu­dios are dot­ted right across the county, from the re­mote hills of the Up­per Dales and the sub­ur­ban streets of Har­ro­gate and Leeds, to the Vale of York and the rugged coast­line fur­ther east. So as well as be­ing a pleas­ant day out, it’s also an op­por­tu­nity to buy con­tem­po­rary paint­ings, prints, sculp­tures and ce­ram­ics.

Since be­ing set up in 2005, North York­shire Open Stu­dios – or­gan­ised by Gar­grave­based Chrysalis Arts – has es­tab­lished it­self as one of the most in­ter­est­ing and pop­u­lar arts events in York­shire.

Among the new faces tak­ing part this year are Joseph Hay­ton, a trained stone­ma­son who has worked on a va­ri­ety of projects from stone carv­ing for stately homes to ec­cle­si­as­ti­cal restora­tions. He will be open­ing up his Pate­ley Bridge work­shop, while those in­ter­ested in Vic­to­rian pho­to­graphic tech­niques can find out more by go­ing to see David and An­gela Chalmers on Scarborough’s Es­planade.

Fur­ther west, in her re­mote Swaledale stu­dio, Rachel

Char­lotte Mor­ri­son, High Bur­ton, Masham. She spe­cialises in ce­ram­ics and her most re­cent work re­flects her in­ter­est in his­tor­i­cal events and ev­ery­day life from the early 1900s up to the 1940s.

Ge­off Rush­ton, Skip­ton. He re­cy­cles wood and stones near where he lives and uses a va­ri­ety of tools to cre­ate his un­usual and ab­stract sculp­tures.

Adam King, Scarborough. Liv­ing and work­ing on the coast as well as in Har­ro­gate, King is a dis­tinc­tive painter and print­maker who uses a range of dif­fer­ent me­dia and tech­niques in his work. Anthill will be on hand to talk about her se­ries of luminous land­scapes in­spired by a re­cent trip to the Hi­malyas,

Closer to home, Richard Snow­den, based at Dunkeswick, north Leeds, is pri­mar­ily an artist but also spends time run­ning a farm be­tween Har­ro­gate and Leeds and is prob­a­bly the only per­son in­cluded in the Who’s Who In Con­tem­po­rary Bri­tish Art that can also claim to be an as­para­gus farmer.

Run­ning along­side the Open Stu­dios is a pro­gramme of artist-led work­shops, talks and other events scat­tered across North York­shire.

Event di­rec­tor Rick Faulkner, of Chrysalis Arts, says part of its con­tin­ued suc­cess is the fact that peo­ple don’t have to trudge to a gallery in or­der to see the artists’ work.

“We are blessed with a range of in­spir­ing land­scapes in North York­shire, which help make our Open Stu­dios one of the most spec­tac­u­lar events of its kind in the coun­try. “It of­fers a unique op­por­tu­nity for the pub­lic to meet in­di­vid­ual artists in a di­verse range of stu­dios and set­tings, to gain an in­sight into how their work is pro­duced, what in­spires them and to buy high qual­ity art and craft di­rectly from them.”

Faulkner be­lieves Open Stu­dios has not only be­come a firm fix­ture in the North York­shire vis­ual arts cal­en­dar, but that it also plays an im­por­tant role in help­ing to sus­tain the re­gion’s artists.

“In re­cent years it has shown sig­nif­i­cant growth both in the num­ber of vis­i­tors it at­tracts and the amount and value of the sales it gen­er­ates for North York­shire’s pro­fes­sional vis­ual artists.

“At a time of eco­nomic dif­fi­culty, this is es­pe­cially en­cour­ag­ing and demon­strates the value of the arts to the lo­cal econ­omy.”

North York­shire Open Stu­dios, runs to­mor­row and Sun­day and again on June 15 and 16. The stu­dios are open from 10.30am - 5.30pm. For more in­for­ma­tion about work­shops and ac­tiv­i­ties linked to the event log on to

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