Here we are folks – we have officially stepped out of spring and into summer.

The equinox is just around the corner and the world is hotting up for a sunny (fingers crossed!) season.

Extract from His Egyptian Queen, He Gave Black Pearls For Eyes by Alexandra Gallagher at Art of Protest Gallery

Between your barbecues and beach trips, your holidays and hiking expeditions, take a moment to step into the world of the York art galleries this month.

There is plenty on offer, and here are our highlights for June.

Black Pearls by Alexandra Gallagher

Carry My Soul To Heaven by Alexandra Gallagher
Lancashire born graphic artist Alexandra Gallagher studied and developed her visual language through the nineties and noughties.

Her surreal fairytale graphic collages have been shown nationally and internationally including with Saatchi and across various art fairs.

Thanks to those pioneering people at Art Of Protest gallery we can enjoy her remarkable work there from Friday (June 15) – and around the city.


She is opening collection of public, private and gallery projects across York, starting with a paste up mural at the home of Lisa Dawson, interior designer and Instagram star.

Then on Friday Alexandra installs a new mural at Brew York’s soon to be revealed beer hall, just off Walmgate.

After which Alexandra is helping with the creation of 2 window displays at Browns Department Store, the back windows of which face onto one of The Art of Protest’s gallery windows.

The new exhibition continues a series at The Art of Protest where well-known northern contemporary artists, who are shown in London and around the world, are offered a northern base to exhibit and sell their work.

Aesthetica Art Prize @ York Art Gallery

Lost in Translation, Electra Lyhne-Gold courtesy of Aesthetica Magazine

The Aesthetica Art Prize has returned to York.

Running from Friday 18 May – 30 September at York Art Gallery, the show is an annual celebration of emerging and established artists from across the world.

This year the exhibition explores the wider effects of over-consumption, media stimulation and emotional disconnection- all hot topics in our new-media dominated world.

The featured artists explore the question of modern forms of communication, reflect on the era of post-truth, and ask whether human autonomy can be reduced to calculable, predictable patterns of behaviour.

The 2018 show promises to be even more probing and thought-provoking than that of previous years.

The Sea is the Limit @ York Art Gallery

Susan Stockwell – Sail Away (detail), 2013 – Image Courtesy of Patrick Heide Contemporary Art

While you’re at the gallery, make sure you check out their new exhibition, The Sea is the Limit, which runs until September.

Eleven international artists have come together to explore the ongoing issues of migration, dispossession and national borders.

The project has been organised by York Art Gallery and contemporary artist Varvara Shavrova in collaboration with Patrick Heide, and will feature 25 art works in a wide range of media such as audio visual objects, interactive installations, drawings, paintings, sculpture and audio and video works.

The moving exhibition expresses how the desire for freedom and a better life contrasts starkly with the realities of migrant journeys.

Witte Kubus 2 @ Kunsthuis

Shades of Blue (1), Hanna Ten Doornkaat, courtesy of Saatchi Art

The second show in the Kunsthuis Witte Kubus series, formerly known as White Cube, is now open at the gallery.

Witte Kubus 2 features the work of two artists living and working in the UK who live to push the boundaries of their creative practice.

Hanna ten Doornkaat is a German artist now living and working in the UK, while Jim Bond is originally from Scotland and now lives in West Yorkshire.

Each artist brings fresh approaches to drawing and sculpture, with a dynamic use of concepts, techniques and imagery.

The show runs until 8 July.

Of Life and Land @ Lotte Inch

Coconut Slice, Lucy Saggers courtesy of Lotte Inch

There isn’t much time left to get down to the Lotte Inch gallery to see their current exhibition, Of Life and Land, featuring the work of Yorkshire based photographer Lucy Saggers.

The captivating exhibition chronicles life in the Yorkshire village of Ampleforth.

With images which transform the mundane into deeply moving and delightfully telling moments, Saggers’ ability to capture the life in her subjects makes this exhibition well worth a visit.

Get to the gallery before 16 June to see the work.

Belonging(s) @ The School House Gallery

Safe Shelter, Hilly Fletcher courtesy of the artist

As York readies itself of Refugee Week, 18 – 24 June, Hilly Fletcher will be opening a new exhibition on the subject at the School House Gallery.

Belonging(s) explores themes of home, journey, safety and shelter, referring to refugees and their precarious experience of these fundamental concepts.

At the centre of this mixed-media exhibition there lies a difficult question: how would you feel if your home were taken at a moment’s notice?

Explore the subject for yourself at the gallery from 16 June.

Efflorescence @ Castle Gallery

Positive Outlook III, Steven Simpson courtesy of Castle Galleries

Contemporary artist Stephen Simpson will be visiting Castle Fine Art gallery on Saturday 9th June from 1-3pm to present his striking new collection of art, Efflorescence.

Steven’s unique method is inspired by the elemental qualities of nature, with his heavy texture and high gloss finishes blurring the line between 2D and 3D sculpture.

This particular collection also looks to the origins of Abstract Expressionism for inspiration.

Unconventional and striking, this artist presents his audience with an unmatched floral composition.

Meet the artist and see the work at the gallery this month.

Meet Rebecca Lardner @ Whitewall

That’s the Way, Rebecca Lardner courtesy of Arthouse Gallery

Lauded by some as a modern day Lowry, Rebecca Lardner’s uplifting work centres around the hustle and bustle of English coastal life.

The timeless subject matter is simultaneously alive and nostalgic, like a vivid memory playing out before your eyes.

However closely you relate to the characters of her coastal idyls, you can’t help but be charmed by the gentle humour and inviting vistas.

Meet the artist and catch her work at the gallery on 24 June, 1 – 3 PM.

Celebrate The Beano @ According to McGee

Minnie Yellow, Horace Panter courtesy of According To McGee

Someone is having a birthday…

Get to According to McGee before next week is out to join in the celebrations: The Beano is turning 80!

To celebrate this special birthday, Beano Studios invited artist Horace Panter, the bassist from The Specials and a favourite of the gallery, to feature characters from the Beano in a new art collection.

All the works are Pop Art, based on classic pieces by Lichtenstein, Warhol & Hockney.

Dennis, Minnie, Gnasher, Lord Snooty, The Bash Street Kids and Billy Whizz all make appearances, and I’ll tell you one thing- they certainly don’t look 80.

Living Terra @ Blue Tree

Still life by Francesca Currie courtesy of the artist

In association with York’s first horticultural festival, Bloom, Blue Tree gallery is running a new exhibition featuring the work of 4 talented artists.

Francesca Currie, Sally Anne Fitter, Guiliana Lazzerini, Jake Mullin have contributed still life paintings to the show, Living Terra, which runs from 9 June – 4 August.

Sandsend @ Pyramid Gallery

Glassworks from Sandsend courtesy of Pyramid Gallery

This month an exhibition of paintings, monoprints, ceramics and glass has been curated by York artist Lesley Birch and ceramist Emily Stubbs for Pyramid Gallery.

As well as their own work, the exhibition features some stunning glass by UK based artists.

Sand never looked so striking.