York Open Studios is one of those events I look forward to every year.  I love the concept. What is the concept? Well basically Open Studios is an event where, over a period of a weekend or so, local artists open their studios for the general public to come and see their work.

They are such fun to go to and they are popping up all around the country.  They can be on a large scale, such as York which has its own dedicated website https://www.yorkopenstudios.co.uk/  and Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/yorkopenstudios/

Or much smaller, such as, say, Hartlepool, which doesn’t have a website, doesn’t have a Facebook page, and so far doesn’t have an Open Studios BUT it does have lots of amazing artists.  You might take a look at its Wintertide Festival https://www.wintertidefestuk.com/

Back to York Open Studios.  There’s lots to see at the York Open Studios and this year was no exception.  The organisers provide a very useful booklet which profiles all of the participating artists to tell you what  they do with images of their work.  This year there were over 60! They also provide a map to show you how to find them.  Many of these local artists work at home most of the time, with little opportunity for the general public to see them, so York Open Studios is huge for them.  It’s great for them to be rewarded by admiration, and fab for us to have a great day out.


Once again there were lots of amazing opportunities to see local art this year.  I missed so many! But there was so little time.  Of those I managed to visit there were 2 in particular I would like to tell you about and 1 I wish I had found the time to visit.

Lesley Seeger https://www.lesleyseeger.com/

I found local Artist Lesley Seeger down a little alleyway in the centre of York.  What a delight. I really enjoy her use of colour (especially hints of silver), and juxtaposition of different shape. Her work is described in her York Open Studios profile as a “hybrid between real and imagined”.

David Swales https://www.davidswales.net/

Local artist David Swales was exhibiting for York Open Studios from Bootham School.  We had a great conversation where he shared with me his love of working with the paint.  He sees each project as a journey and like me, he agreed that it’s the journey that is as important, if not more so, than the destination.  I can see why he is a great teacher!

Chiu-i Wu https://www.chiuiwu.co.uk/

I recognised Chiu-i Wu’s work as soon as I saw it.  Unfortunately it wasn’t until I got home and was looking through the catalogue of artists.  I admired her refreshingly different sculptural stoneware when I’ve seen her exhibiting at The Biscuit Factory. I would love to have had a chat about the process and her inspiration.  Take a look at her work and try to get along to see it sometime.



Well, I hope you have enjoyed my little blog and that it has encouraged you to visit York Open Studios next year. It would also be great if you paid these artists a visit, or any others you can find on the York Open Studios website.


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