Graffiti the walls, yarn bomb the exterior and dance in the main gallery!

1 Feb 2013 @ 6.30 pm
| News
Peckasso the pigeon out last month to publicise the yarn bombing at York Art Gallery. Photograph: York Museums Trust blog

Issued by York Museums Trust

York Art Gallery’s Open Day – February 2

The blank canvas of an empty York Art Gallery will be transformed by members of the public at a special open day on Saturday, February 2.

The building is being emptied of its prize arts collections so that work can start on an £8 million development which will create 60 per cent more exhibition space and double the learning space.

For one day only the public will be able to come into the empty gallery to create art and also learn more about the development. There will be the chance to paint and draw on the walls of the Main Gallery, paint the South Gallery with light and yarn bomb the exterior of the gallery and parts of Exhibition Square.

Among the other activities there will be a craft café in the reception area, live music playing in the Main Gallery and the Northern Potters creating a clay version of the gallery in the Main Gallery. Curators and other gallery staff will also be on hand to talk about the gallery’s development and how it will look when it reopens in Easter 2015.

Gaby Lees, assistant curator of arts learning, said: “It isn’t very often you have a space like York Art Gallery completely empty. We thought is was a unique chance to invite people to come and hear about our plans for the future, but also make use of the space in an artistic way.

“Whether you fancy coming to paint on the walls in the Main Gallery, create a pom pom for the yarn bombing of Exhibition Square or just to have a go at a craft while enjoying a cuppa, we hope people will come along to have a go at something new or to speak to us about the exciting plans we have for the future.”

The Open Day will take place from 10am until 5pm and is free to all.

The activities will take place all day. PLease bring any knitting creations with you on the day.

Fine Art students from York St John’s University will begin the painting of the gallery walls, with members of the public encouraged to add their contributions. The music in the gallery will also be provided by students from the university.

The aim of the yarn bombing is to use colourful wool to transform an object or area, in this case the gallery’s exterior columns and Exhibition Square. This can be by knitting, wrapping, creating pom poms and any other imaginative way of using yarn. Workshops to create the pieces will take place at the Craft Café in the reception area of the gallery. There will also be other volunteers there sharing their knowledge of other skills.

A Tag Tool, which uses light to paint, will be set up in the South Gallery. People will get a ticket, with their number being called when the tool is free for them to use. This will be run by York based company Glass Cannon.

The Northern Potters will also be in the Main Gallery creating a replica gallery made out of clay. People will be able to add to this with what they would like to see in the gallery when it reopens in 2015.

In the Burton Gallery there will be the first public showing of the complete Bayers Tapestry. This remarkable work is more than 200m long and was made by schools and community groups to celebrate York 800 last year. Between 2.30pm and 4.30pm there will also be a series of short performance pieces by York Theatre Royal Youth Theatre.

In the Gallery of Pots there will be contemporary quilts from the Quilters Guild on show as well as demonstrations while in The Studio work from York Art Gallery’s community programme, Territories, will be on the walls. Activities for Under fives will also take place in the Studio to launch York Museums Trust’s new early years sessions.

The Little Gallery will be the place to go to find out more about the Gallery’s development and its plans for when it reopens in 2015.

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