March has already proved itself to be a good time for art in York.
The month opened with the news that the International Media Arts Festival – or York Mediale – will take place in October 2018 as planned, despite funding setbacks that appeared to threaten the whole enterprise.
It was announced only last week that the show must, and will, go on, and in light of this good news, here are a few other great shows that will be going on in York this month.
All creatures great and small @ York Fine Arts
Calling all naturalists and animal lovers: York Fine Arts has got the perfect exhibition for you on show at their gallery right now.
In recognition of World Wildlife Day earlier this month, the gallery is showcasing a truly astounding compilation of painted specimins, from the exotic animals of faraway lands to the much loved creatures of our local environs.
The exhibition, Animalia, which runs until Sunday, March 26, celebrates the intrinsic relationship between animals and humans, blending scientific observation and astute artistry to present its subjects in a light that is as exquisite as it is natural.
Dish @ Lotte Inch
The man of the hour at Lotte inch throughout March and April is an innovator who is generally better known for a different kind of creative endeavour.
Tom Kerridge is a Michelin star chef, author and TV personality, whose interest in ceramics goes hand and hand with his flair in the kitchen.
For Kerridge, fine dining is not just a matter of what is served up, but also what is it served upon.
For this exhibition, Dish, the culinary creative has selected some of his favourite ceramicists, presenting us with a collection that goes way beyond your traditional expectations of dinnerware.
A real mix @ Blue Tree Gallery
Hurry down to Blue Tree Gallery for your last chance to see the current exhibition, Mixed Art, which showcases linocuts, paintings and original prints from a variety of local artists.
Each artist brings their own unique mix of skills and inspirations to the table, making this exhibition a fascinating assemblage of creativity.
Best get a move on though, as the show closes on Saturday, March 11.
Mindful Art @ York Art Gallery
Mindfulness is an ancient practice that has recently taken a prominent place in the popular imagination.
If you haven’t come across it before now, then you must have been living under a rock for quite some time.
And as well as welcoming you back into the real world, I would also like to invite you to experience the practice first hand at York Art Gallery’s event on Thursday, March 9 @ 1pm–1.30pm.
Art appreciation has always been a mindful process, but under the guidance of Gallery Collections Facilitator, Fiona Green, you will be encouraged to use mindfulness techniques to explore the gallery’s most popular paintings in quite a different light.
A slice of life @ Kentmere House
Gallery regular Susan Bower is back at Kentmere House this month, and she’s added some charming new artworks to the mix.
Although Yorkshire based, Susan receives surprisingly little attention in her home county, but instead sells the majority of her work in London and the South.
Her artwork is colourful, humorous, and certainly deserving of far more attention from her northern peers than it currently receives.
To help correct this imbalance, check out Susan’s new work amongst the wide-ranging assortment of artists at Kentmere House, Thursdays from 6 to 9pm or by appointment.
WIMMIN @ City Screen
In case you didn’t know, York International Women’s Festival is going on right now (March 3-12).
To mark the occasion, one York based artist collective is hosting a celebratory exhibition at the City Screen Riverside bar.
The WIMMIN show is an assemblage of artwork featuring five ‘kick ass female artists’, and is not to be missed.
But now is the time to get your skates on, as the show closes on Sunday, March 12, coinciding with the end of the festival.
Captive Body @ Norman Rea
Those clever students at the Norman Rea Gallery have done it again, assembling a thought provoking collection of multimedia artworks for the exhibition, The Captive Body, which opened at the end of last month.
Hidden in the heart of the University of York Campus, past the crowds of bleary eyed post-library-bender students, you will find the Norman Rea Gallery ready to receive you just above campus bar, the Courtyard.
The current exhibition features the work of four different artists and their representations of the female body, which they see as repressed, controlled and confined.
It raises some interesting issues, and in the context of York International Women’s Festival, now is the perfect time to join the discussion.
Meet Philip Gray @ Whitewall Gallery
You’ve heard of extreme sports, but what about extreme art?
Philip Grey is one artist who is pioneering this particular brand of artistic adventuring, painting his spectacular landscapes in unexpected and often dangerous locations.
Favouring the views from within the ‘danger zone’, be it at Everest Base Camp or 60 feet below the surface in shark infested waters, this is one painter who has a few tales to tell as well as some impressive art to show us.
If you find yourself intrigued by this adventurer-come-artist, you can talk to the man himself at Whitewall Gallery’s meet the artist event, Saturday, March 18 from 1pm-3pm.
Queer Sunday @ York Art Gallery
York Art Gallery’s current show, Flesh, has been inspiring us since it opened, not only with the exhibition itself, but with a series of events and theme days based around it.
On Sunday, March 12 you can see the exhibition in a new light, one cast by the collaborative community project which has been taking place over the past few months, and led by performance artist Dr Nina Kane of Cast-Off Drama.
The event seeks to explore LGBT*IQ issues and identities through a day of creative ideas and performances which will be shared over the course of the afternoon, from 12pm-2pm.
If you don’t make it to the Queer Sunday event, then there will be two more performance events themed around Flesh held the following weekend, Saturday and Sunday March 18 and 19, from 1.30pm-4.30pm.
Again, Dr Nina Kane will be at the helm of this strange happening, enacting her performance piece at half-hour intervals throughout the afternoon.
Do it yourself @ York Art Gallery
There’s nothing like getting involved in something creative yourself, and if you feel the urge then you can head along to York’s regular informal drawing met up, Sketchbook Circle, on Wednesday, March 8 @ 1.30pm-3.30pm in York Art Gallery. Each session costs £5 and can be booked through Eventbrite.
Life drawing day @ York Art Gallery
For something a little more in depth, artist Sue Clayton will be running a life drawing and painting class on Saturday, March 11 from 10.30am-3.30pm.
The course, Painting from Life – Form and Flesh Tones, costs £40 including materials and gallery admission, and can be booked via York Learning on 01904 552806 or by emailing email@example.com.