York Open Studios
21–23 and 29–30 April
The York Open Studios are back for another year to show off the best artists, designers and makers within 10 miles of the city. Keep your eyes peeled for new-kid-on-the-block for 2017, printmaker Alan Coates, whose hand-printed pieces are inspired by anonymous old photographs. If you’re feeling inspired by the talent around you, get your beret and easel at the ready and sign up to one of the many workshops.
Other highlights: Ian Cameron’s quirky paintings are made with wax rubbings, brusho washes and Indian ink to give a multi-layered finish. You’ll find him in his hand-built wooden studio in Acomb. One of Emily Stubbs’ ceramic vessels would brighten up even the darkest home, and if you can bear to use one as a vase, it’d make the perfect companion for a bunch of fresh flowers.
Open Up Sheffield
29–30 April and 1, 6–7 May
Run by artists for artists, here you’ll find the crème de la crème of Sheffield and South Yorkshire. With more than 80 different creatives showcasing everything from oil paintings to sculpture, there’s plenty you’ll want to take home with you. Sucker for nature-inspired pieces? You won’t be able to resist one of Wendy Carlton’s bold floral acrylic paintings, and if Annette Petch’s handcrafted rings in recycled silver and gold catch your eye you can commission your own.
Other highlights: Lesley Churton’s beautiful woodwork takes its form in a range of bowls, dishes and even charming hedgehogs, which would make the perfect gift for any nature-lover. If ceramic pieces are more your thing, Anna-Mercedes Wear builds bright human figures and animals – something a little different for your home decoration.
North Yorkshire Open Studios
3–4 and 10–11 June
With 129 artists taking part there’s a whole range of events going on up north. We can’t wait to see a collaboration by three artists who’ve been inspired by swifts at Gallery Beyond in Nunnington. Catch Jonathan Pomroy sketching and painting, Louise Dwyer creating artisan jewellery and blacksmith Matthew Dwyer making a swift weathervane. Tie this in with an educational walk, led by Jonathan, to brush up on your bird knowledge.
Other highlights: Jewellery maker Jill James will have sketchbooks, works in progress and uncut gemstones for you to inspect in her open studio. Her jewellery is inspired by the rugged Yorkshire landscape and her rings are to die for. If you like ancient myths and legends, you’ll love Stephen Guyon-Bird’s narrative paintings, made with strong lines and bold compositions.
Hebden Bridge Open Studios
It’s all happening this summer in and around Hebden Bridge with more than 90 artists opening their studios and homes for you to have a good nosey into the what they get up to behind closed doors. The online artists’ directory is handily colour coded by area and marked with parking, steps and easy access, so you know whether or not it’d suit your party.
Other highlights: We love Dorothy Ann Simister’s shop window reflection paintings, where on each inspection something new appears you didn’t notice previously. And while there are plenty of photographers we could praise, Theo Piper’s street photos capture an interesting and exciting diversity you’ll not want to miss.
King Street Workshops
It’s a big year for the creatives in Pateley Bridge where the King Street Workshops are celebrating their 25th birthday. Watch artists at work, take a bespoke piece home (or commission a new one) and get hands-on with crafts during their special open weekend. What started in a disused work yard soon became a solid creative hub and today is home to 11 permanently occupied workshops.
Other highlights: For some art with a difference, why not head to Folk Finders Family History who’ll do all the hard work of tracing your family history and then draw it up and mount it for you to hang at home? Think your family is too big? Their printer can make a continuous roll that can cover a room wall-to-wall.
East Yorkshire Open Studios
30 September–1 October and 7–8 October
Here’s one for your diaries: the East Yorkshire Open Studios. Last year saw nearly 70 artists open up their doors to the public and this year promises to be equally as exciting. It covers Bridlington, Driffield, Pocklington, Beverley and the outskirts of Hull and you’ll find everything from photographers such as Kerry Duncan to mixed media artist Mimi Claughton and jewellery maker Joy Berkin – save the date.
Other highlights: Be sure to check out Dan Cimmermann’s work. He takes images from their original contexts (such as bank notes) and reworks them into something completely different. His interesting pieces are made with oil paints, etchings and collage and are aren’t too dissimilar to optical illusions.