It’s all going on in York this month, especially in the art world.
In a month that opened with near Arctic conditions, we take a look at some of the environmental issues that underlie the headline grabbing weather.
We also look forward to the coming of Spring, albeit as of yet un-sprung, with several perspectives on the natural world, land, sea and all things animal.
Whatever it is that has grabbed your attention this month, there is an exhibition to answer it and here are a few highlights that have grabbed ours.
Environmental Art @ Kunsthuis
Never one to shy away from an intimidating subject, Kunsthuis have picked a real big’un for their new exhibition.
Our eARTh, opening 24 March, has been curated by the gallery as an artistic interrogation of the issue of climate change.
More than 100 artists make up the show, spanning all genres and media with artwork that responds to the issue and aims to inspire and motivate the audience into positive action.
Support the show, which will run throughout the year, and perhaps you too will find yourself inspired to make some positive environmental changes.
Playful Compositions @ According to McGee
This month According to McGee has paired two artists for Masks in the Wild, a new exhibition which combines humour and unsettling elements with entertaining and eye-catching zeal.
Emma Skeldon is a Camberwell trained photographer whose images playfully combine elements of the surreal within settings that are at once familiar and evocative.
Adele Kamazyn is a York based artist who uses idioms, metaphors and song lyrics for inspiration and to add narrative to her digital collages.
Combining work from these two artists is a masterstroke on the part of the gallery, so make sure you see the show while it runs from 15 – 31 March.
Tattoos and punks @ Art of Protest
You can rely on the Art Of Protest Gallery to startle and stimulate, and that’s true again this month.
On Saturday March 17 Big Sleep – one of the West Coast’s most iconic tattooists – will be in action in the gallery.
Then right at the end of the month, it hosts A Punk Turned Dandy. This is a major showcase of the work of Prefab77 which runs from March 30-April 13.
Prefab77 is a collective of artists based in the North East of England, “creating fast, hard-edged, stripped down art; often political, always beautiful”.
Abstract Landscapes @ Lotte Inch
The new exhibition at Lotte Inch, Morphology, is a bright, bold and exciting collection comprising principally of paintings and ceramics by two artists: Isabella Maclure and Rebecca Appleby.
Maclure’s paintings are inspired by visits to the coast and diving trips to the ocean depths while Appleby’s striking ceramics and bold drawings are emotive illustrations of our changing urban landscape.
Between these two, as well as several other artists that feature, the exhibition explores the relationship between landscape and the abstract.
Morphology will run throughout the month.
Visual Connections @ Pyramid Gallery
Visual Connections is an exhibition that combines the latest work of partners Terry Beard and Stephen Murfitt.
Painter and mixed media artist Terry Beard does not make obviously representational images, but instead she attempts to translate what she sees into what she feels.
While ceramicist Stephen Murfitt makes unique hand-built and Raku-fired, forms and vessels.
Visual Connections – Terry Beard and Stephen Murfitt exhibition runs at the Pyramid Gallery from Saturday March 17 to Sunday May 13.
Literary Celebrations @ Blossom Street Gallery
Blossom Street Gallery is joining in with celebrations for the York Literature Festival this March with their new exhibition, Art as Author, running throughout the month.
The exhibition features book jacket designs and illustrations from local artist, Emily Sutton, as well as the return of Fans Bramer whose textile pieces are inspired by history and landscape.
The show amounts to an imagination inspiring collection that is well worth a visit.
A Retrospective @ The New School House Gallery
Phil Reynolds is a York based artist who has shown at numerous galleries around the UK.
Now he is back in York for a new exhibition which surveys the landscape of his work, both abstract and figural, from the last decade.
The show is currently open at The New School House Gallery, where his expressive mark-making and instinctive creativity will be on view until 8 April.
New Work @ Kentmere House Gallery
Michael Ewart is a former primary school teacher who took the plunge into full-time artistry some years ago and has never looked back.
A Northumblerland based painter, Micheal likes to paint people in everyday situations as well as focusing on the familiar and our enchanting (and don’t we know it) northern landscapes.
This month Kentmere House will play host to a selection of new works by the artist.
Arrange a viewing by calling the gallery on 01904 656507, otherwise the gallery’s next open weekend will be on 7 – 8 April.
All Creatures @ York Fine Arts
Finally, in celebration of a Spring that hasn’t quite sprung yet, we see the return of York Fine Art Gallery’s recurring exhibition in celebration of the natural world, Animalia.
Featuring enough animal specimens to fill a painted zoo, this is a show that will enchant animal and art lovers alike.
Practise your awe and your ‘aw’s at this show until 2 April.