The art to see in York this month – November 2015

An extract from Edward Hershey's painting, Farmyard Bustle, on show at York Fine Arts
2 Nov 2015 @ 7.06 pm
| News

The thrills of Halloween are behind us, the explosive colour of firework night lies just ahead and the bright lights of the festive season are looming ever closer.

(You may have noticed the Christmas trees that are already clinging to the building fronts of the city centre.)

The rich blush of autumn might well be fading, but we shall more than make up for it in the months to come with our own determination to light up the world with colour and sparkle.

And there is no shortage of brilliance and beauty to be found in the art world of York this month either.


One of the series of Laminar Flow paintings by Sue Gough
One of the series of Laminar Flow paintings by Sue Gough

Make the short journey out to the University of York campus this month to check out The Norman Rea Gallery’s first exhibition of the semester, Transformations.

Featuring four artists from Brighton and Sussex, this collection focuses on subtlety and hidden meaning. Try and spot the layers of representation that hide beneath the obvious, in this excellent exhibition, curated by a team of students from the university.

For the next two weeks (until November 16) Sue Gough will be exhibiting her series Laminar Flow at Preistley’s at No 36.

The series is made up of 12 paintings that are inspired by the mood and landscape of each consecutive month. What makes the series particularly interesting is the progression of the paintings.

Each is an exact copy of the last, with the addition of one extra layer, resulting in is a series of images which are at once distinctly individual and progressively linked.

For a dose of charm and something a little more traditional, two artists, Edward Hersey and Gordon Lees, will be exhibiting at York Fine Arts on Low Petergate from November 20-December 6.

Their depictions of well loved British towns and landscapes are like snapshots from the perfect country walk, inviting the viewer into the attractive scenes of an almost wistful idyll.

Great opportunity for young curators

The recently launched New Curators programme is a fantastic new scheme from the New School House Gallery.

It invites students from both York St John’s University and the University of York, to make use of the gallery’s space to curate exhibitions of their own.

This month sees the turn of two Univeristy of York students who have put together, And How Does That Make You Feel?, which previews on the November 13.

See the work and meet the artist

We Can Dream by Lawrence Coulson
We Can Dream by Lawrence Coulson

If you are anything like me, a good art exhibition can often leave you intrigued and perhaps even slightly frustrated, wondering about techniques, inspiration and meanings that lie behind the work.

This is a good thing, it means that you are interested. In York this month there are two great ‘meet the artist’ events and opportunities to and hear answers straight from the horse’s mouth, as it were.

The first of these will be at Castle Gallery, where award winning landscape artist Lawrence Coulson will be talking about his new exhibition, Through All Seasons, on Saturday, November 21. His collection of romantic landscapes will then be displayed for two weeks at the gallery.

For an even more in depth insight into an artist technique, York based artist Lesley Birch will be offering a two-day exploratory drawing and painting course on the weekend of November 28-29.

Lesley’s painting style is beautifully atmospheric, depicting landscapes steeped in a mystical haze of colour and light.

To see the work before you meet the artist, head to the Blossom Street Gallery, where her series, Sand And Water, will be on show from November 3.

For more information on the course, email the artist directly.

Get involved

Pieces by Kerry Jameson from the Anthony Shaw collection
Pieces by Kerry Jameson from the Anthony Shaw collection, courtesy of York Art Gallery

As any of our featured artists would tell you, art isn’t just something to be admired.

Nothing quite compares to creating your own artworks, and there will be several events hosted by York Art Gallery throughout November that provide the perfect opportunity.

The communal drawing group, Sketchbook Circle, will be meeting once again at the gallery on Wednesday, November 4 between 1.30pm and 3.30pm. For just £5 you can drop in and join the casual session on the day.

For those seeking something more technically advanced, the Fur And Feathers Painting Course, with artist Laraine Simpson, will be taking place over the weekend of November 14 and 15 (£60).

Alternatively, there is a Guilding Workshop hosted by professional guilding artist and sign-writer, Rob Oldfield, on Saturday, November 21 for £30 (price includes all materials).

For the very (very) young artists out there, a series of Baby Museum Sessions will be taking place between 1.30pm and 3.30pm every Friday at the gallery.

The themed workshops will include group sessions, storytelling, songs and sensory activities for all the tiny-Turners-to-be in York.

Finally, if creating isn’t your thing, perhaps collecting is. Anthony Shaw, collector and large contributor to York Art Gallery’s collection, will be giving a talk, The Collector’s Eye, on Friday, November 27, 2pm-3pm.

Learn more about what attracts a collector to a piece of art at this one-off event.
from Anthony Shaw collection courtesy of York Art Gallery

So, whether you’re a collector, a creator, a tiny tot or just someone who has eyes to treat every now and again, there are plenty of artistic offerings to be found in York this month.

Get out there and get looking!