Category Archives: Events & Festivals in Yorkshire

Aiiiiii Fiesta!

Yup, it’s official -we’re getting very excited about this year’s Fiesta!

Not only are we going to have fun making metres and metres of pretty bunting, we’re also going to be part of The Wonderland Project – if you read our bunting post, you’ll remember us mentioning a magical garden – this is it and you have a chance to get involved!

Our fabulous textiles tutor Donna Taylor will be leading two workshops for adults on Wednesday 5 & Tuesday 25 May – the sessions are free to attend, but you do need to book your space!  If you’d like to take part in this year’s Fiesta, send an email to and we’ll put your name on the list!

You can find out more by visiting the Fiesta blog.


York Open Studios

Did you manage to get round any of the artists in this year’s York Open Studios?  Hopefully you did, because there were so many inspiring works to see and new artsists and techniques to discover!

We didn’t manage to make it round everyone (you’d have to be seriously dedicated and spend all weekend visiting the venues!) but we definitely felt we’d seen a good selection.  It’s hard to pick a ‘favourite’ out of them all, but a few highlights for us this year were….

Work by Chi-ui Wu - one of our personal highlights from York Open Studios 2010

Work by Chi-ui Wu - one of our personal highlights from York Open Studios 2010

The whimsical ink drawings and enchanting ceramics created by Chiu-i Wu – her work is full of light, nature and life and we spotted several things wanted to take home with us – it’s the type of work you could look at every day and see something new in it.

On our way into town on Saturday morning, we passed by several of the venues, including Sandra Middleton, who works with silks and velvets that she dyes herself to create abstract pieces.  The pieces looked so different depending on the light which was reflected on the fabrics (the images on her website don’t really do her work justice), and it was really great to have the chance to meet Sandra and see how the work was produced.

Across town, we visited David’s Patrick’s studio on Norfolk Street.  David’s use of colour is really quite arresting, particularly the lush greens and vivid purples, and his work somehow makes York look very urban and contemporary – even in pieces featuring some of York’s most ancient features.

Worth remembering of course that all these artists work outside of York Open Studios – so check out their websites to find out more about their work, where else they exhibit and how you can buy their work. 

If you did visit open studios, tell us who, and what you thought………

What’s next for us…….

Although the Inspirations festival is an annual event, we’re keen to keep you busy with other arty projects during the rest of the year too!

The next community project we’re working on is Fiesta, which takes place this year on Saturday 5 June in York.  The 1-day festival, which is being run by City of York Council’s arts and culture team, aims to get people from all over the city involved in celebrating the city – either by taking part in creating things before the event (which we’ll come onto in a moment!), joining in on the day and visiting some of the events, or just taking time out from their usual routine to come into the city centre and watch dancers, salsa and visit a magical garden while drinking tea!

All sound a bit mad?  Good – it’s supposed to!

This year, we’re working with the arts and culture team on the Wonderland garden – which we’ll talk about again on here once we have more details – but we’re also really excited becuase we’ve been asked to help ‘dress’ the event – clearly they have heard about all the creative people we’ve got in touch with through The Patch Project!

So what do we need from you?

Well, we need all you creative people to help us make some Fiesta bunting, which we’ll be stringing from the trees on Parliament Street to create a fun and festive atmosphere!



All the bunting will be made out of fabric, which we’ll be providing, but you can make your triangles unique, just as with your ‘patches’ and embellish away to your hearts content if you wish!  We’re going to set up some ‘bunting sessions’ over the coming weeks, so if you’d like bunt with us (oh yes!) then drop me an email – – and I’ll let you know when the next session is!

Patch Progress……

Had another great patching evening earlier this week, kindly hosted by the lovely Donna (Hearts & Crafts, Easter Egg Tree and Crochet workshops) and now have another lovely pile of patches which we’ll be adding onto the blog this afternoon.  One of the things we’re really enjoying about Patch is getting to know so many new people and groups and seeing how very creative people in York are.

We’ll be having a final pre-festival patch-a-thon (new word!) on Monday 1 March at Acomb Library – if you’d like to come along, please drop me an email so I can give you full details –

Building Links

One of the lovely things about working on the Inspirations festival is the opportunity to make links with other organisations working in York.  When we decided to launch The Patch Project, it seemed like a good idea to work with Melanie, the education officer at the Quilt Museum and exploit her knowledge! 

So, we’re delighted to report that information about The Patch Project is now available on the Quilt Museum website.  If you’re new to patchwork and would like to get involved in the project, it’s a good place to start – volunteers from the museum have kindly put together some basic handouts (look in the adult learners’ resources section) to give people a way of getting started.  All you need are some fabrics and thread and you can get patching!  You can download the main project handout from the council website.

We’ve mentioned this to some people, but the finished piece will be hung at the Quilt Museum Saturday 27th March – Saturday 24th April in their education room, which we’re very excited about.  Once it’s been exhibited at the museum, it will appear at the new central York library – Explore York, which will have it’s big launch towards the end of April – before moving to The Studio at York Art Gallery. 

We feel very lucky to be working with the teams at all three venues and are thrilled that they are able to help.  It will be fantastic to see the hanging in public spaces in the city and we hope that lots of you will be able to come along and see it – even if you didn’t take part in the project.


New Beginnings

Well, 2010 is here and has started in the most dramatic of fashions!  York has been particularly beautiful under a blanket of snow, and touch wood, none of us has fallen over… far! 

Confused geese in York Museum Gardens!

Confused geese in York Museum Gardens!

We can’t pretend it’s easy to get out of bed and come to work in this weather, but we’re really excited to be taking bookings for the festival workshops – several are already booked up and others are close to being full, so if you’re planning to sign up, please do so quickly!  You can find out more on the workshop page, then give us a call on  01904 553397.  

The festival is starting to take shape – we’ve had notification about several pieces of work already, and The Patch Project is now being promoted around the city – if you’d like to get involved, take a look at the project page on our blog – you can also download the Inspirations brochure now and you’ll be able to download The Patch Project handout next week. 

Finally, it’s worth mentioning again that the Learning4Life guide is out now and bookings are well under way.  There are absolutely loads of fantastic arts courses starting over the next few months including quilting, woodwork, chinese brush painting, dressmaking, willow weaving and lots lots more, so even if you can’t join us for a workshop, we hope you’ll be able to come along and learn something new.Enjoy the snow, even if it’s from the comfort of your home tucked up under a blanket!

For one night only

Last week, we attended the launch event for Revolving Gallery, a new art initative started by four local creative types – the concept being that the art ‘revolves’; different artists and styles are showcased at each one-off event.  It was especially nice to see that the artists were all Yorkshire-based, and we were impressed with the variety of the work on show.

The venue itself is also worth a mention – the chapel at University of York St John, which we’d never been to before – really great space for something like this, and we always like having a nose round plac es we can’t normally get to!

Hopefully Revolving Gallery will be back again in the spring.  In the current climate it takes a brave group of people to try something completely new that, let’s be honest, doesn’t come cheap, but we wish them success – York is crying out for more events like this.