June is one of my favourite months.
It comes budding with the promise of summer and tops it off with the longest day of the year.
This month it seems like all the art world is celebrating too, with a number of ambitious, impressive and annual events going on in York.
Here are a few to get you in the mood for some good months ahead.
The Dark Self @ York St Marys
Artist Susan Aldworth has culminated years of research into sleep, the subconscious and its relationship to the self into her major new exhibition opening at York St Marys this month.
Find yourself immersed in a vast installation of embroidered pillowcases sewn by people from all over the UK – professionals, school children, prison inmates, craft groups and many more.
The exhibition, which runs 7 June-3 September, also features sculptural and film pieces exploring different interpretations of sleep.
Entry is free.
The Art of Sleep @ Lotte Inch
Susan Aldworth also explores the philosophical conundrum of the subconscious-self in another exhibition, The Art of Sleep, at the Lotte Inch Gallery on Bootham from 21 June – 21 July.
The show does not replicate its sister show, but showcases the earlier stages of the artist’s research, presenting the body of work produced in anticipation of the larger show currently at Kunsthuis.
This smaller exhibition offers an intriguing insight both into the themes explored in the show, and the artistic process itself.
100 Artists @ Kunsthuis
This month, Kunsthuis at Crayke is celebrating contemporary art in all its glory, with one of their most ambitious shows to date.
With 100 artworks contributed by 100 artists from around the globe, there is plenty to see at this exhibition.
Spanning genres, mediums and cultures, this is one eclectic collection.
Catch it at the gallery until 16 June.
Land and Sea @ Blossom Street
Two York based artists have assembled at Blossom Street Gallery this month for an exhibition that captures the visual spectacle of coastal landscapes in paint and collage.
Hilary Holroyd, who stunned in the Blue Tree Gallery’s local artist showcase last year, and Ann Mills, for whom creative expression comes as naturally as breathing, combine to make a transportive collection.
See it before it closes on 28 June.
John Thornon @ Kentmere House
York-born and self-taught, John Thornton is a long time creative who speaks volumes for the inherent creativity in the observant traveller.
Inspired by photos he has taken on escapades about the country, he creates multi-media paintings that conjure the atmosphere of landscapes he has visited.
John’s return to creativity following recent illness is being heralded at Kentmere House, which is open on the first weekend of the month and every Thursday, 6pm-9pm.
Pakpoom Silaphan @ Castle Fine Art
Pakpoom Siliphan has been praised as a unique and engaging artist with an intuitive understanding of the human world.
His work spans cultures, bringing together a variety of environments using symbolism that is universally recognisable.
With artworks that marry the influences of Andy Warhol and Salvidor Dali, while simultaneously seeking to bridge the gap between East and West, it is not hard to see why he has caught the attention of so many in recent times.
See his work for yourself at Castle Fine Art in the Coppergate Centre between 3 June – 18 July.
Car Boot Art @ Pyramid Gallery
Found art has always provided a rich source for playful artists, and you’ll find a great example of this on show at the Pyramid Gallery on Stonegate throughout the summer.
Brian Lewis is a poet, writer and collector of toy figurines.
Robin Gledhill is an artist who has reimagined and recontextualised his collaborator’s car-boot-sale finds, to create mis-en-scènes and a collection of 3D satirical snapshots which will amuse and surprise.
Aesthetica Art Prize @ York Art Gallery
Last year the Aesthetica Art Prize assembled an impressive collection of exceptional artists, from emerging to established artists, working in all different disciplines and exploring all imaginable themes and issues.
This year’s competition is no different: a platform for innovation and originality with 16 selected artists hailing from diverse global locations.
York Art Gallery will be showcasing images of the 84 long-listed artworks, as well as hosting a series of lunchtime talks throughout the month to highlight and discuss the various artists and their work.
Dr Sketchy @ The Basement
The world’s wackiest life-drawing workshop returns to the Basement venue York City Screen on 1 June.
This month the theme is drag, with all profits from the night being donated to York Pride.
If you haven’t attended before, expect the unexpected and enjoy the informality, drinking and a drawing together with the other eccentrics who have been drawn to the bright lights of Dr Sketchy’s drawing lamp.
Tickets are £7 in advance, £8 on the door, and the session runs 7pm-10.30pm.
Draw it Yourself
Art for Wellbeing is back on Sunday 4 June. Drop in between 1.30pm and 3.30pm to join this artistic social, which is free with the cost of gallery admission.
Sketchbook Circle also returns on Wednesday 14 June, 1.30pm-3.30pm.
Artists of all ability are welcome to join for £5, plus gallery admission.
Gathering the Pieces
For a chance to contribute to an exhibition in York Art Gallery, join Kate Haywood for her drop in Hoard Workshop on Sunday 4 June, 11am-5pm.
Choose and assemble objects to create art inspired by Kate’s work and archaeological finds.
Chosen pieces will then be selected for display in the gallery’s Project Room.
Fancy Fans and Garlands, a free decorative craft drop-in workshop running in conjunction with the Albert Moore exhibition, will be running at the gallery on Thursday June 1-Friday June 2 @ 11am-1pm and 2pm-4pm.
Mix Your Media
Create a mixed media masterpiece with artist Lesley Birch in an all-day workshop running on Sunday June 18 from 10am-4pm at York Art Gallery.
The aim is to create pieces using charcoal, collage, ink and acrylics, and inspired by the gallery’s Albert Moore exhibition.
The workshop costs £50, including materials and gallery admission, and can be booked here.
Listen and learn
Think lectures are just for students?
Think again, and join University of York’s Professor Liz Prettejohn for a fascinating look at Albert Moore, The Pre-Raphaelites and James McNeill Whistler in the Yorkshire Museum, Thursday June 22 @ 6.30pm.
Tickets are £8, and included in the cost is a glass of wine – a lecture perk we weren’t permitted during my student days, more’s the pity.