North Yorkshire Artists Are In The Frame This Summer

Over 140 artists open their doors this for one of the biggest open studio events in the UK
May 25, 2023

Stretching from the coast to the moors, dales, and beyond, North Yorkshire’s artistic community invites the public to take a peek inside their studios this summer.

The Open Studio event takes place across the first two weekends of June: 3-4 and 10-11 June, 2023.

It offers the public an exciting chance to discover works from emerging and established artists in the region.

The open studio event is organised by the artist-run collective, North Yorkshire Open Studios (NYOS), a not-for-profit community that works to support the hundreds of painters, sculptors, print-makers, jewellers, ceramicists, photographers, and creatives who live and work in North Yorkshire. 

Garth Bayley, Project Manager for NYOS, said: “The open studio event is a chance to go ‘through the keyhole’ of an artist’s studio, appreciate the creative process, and meet and get to know the artist too.”

This year, NYOS aims to attract visitors from across the north including Manchester, Newcastle, and Leeds. 

An art trail map will be available for visitors to plan their trip.

Garth said: “With the trend for slow travel and staycations, the art studio trail covers coastal spots in Scarborough, through to scenic National Parks including the North York Moors and Yorkshire Dales, and the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, alongside picturesque villages, and vibrant market towns. It’s a wonderful opportunity to go on an artistic and cultural magical tour, visit the well-known attractions or explore lesser-known areas and experience this beautiful and diverse region with new eyes.”

Garth added: “Artists taking part will highlight attractions near their studios, such as castles, abbeys, beauty spots and visitor attractions to help visitors create itineraries for a full day, or even a weekend getaway break, perfect for culture vultures.”

Ian Burke
In the Frame

As one of 140 artists who will fling their studio doors open for North Yorkshire Open Studios this June, local artist Andrea Mosey has a remarkable story to tell.

After working in air traffic control for the Royal Air Force, Andrea, 52, spent the next 20 years working 12-hour days in a senior role in learning and development, travelling the length of breadth of the country. Then Covid hit.

“Lockdown for me was a time to breathe,” Andrea said. She lives in Boroughbridge, and her daughter was in digs at York University and gave her permission to redecorate her bedroom as a guest room.

“I came across all her art materials under her bed. So, I thought I’ll have a play with them as a break, and something else to do, and that was it, I was hooked.”

Today, Andrea is a full-time, award-winning artist, despite dropping Art at school, thinking she wasn’t that good at it. “I was never into Art,” she said. “I’d decorated the whole house when I was furloughed, and just was looking for something else to do.”

Andrea In Her Studio

She posted a few of her paintings on her social media page, and was surprised when people responded asking to buy them. She decided to do a six-month online class with the Irish artist, Roisin O’Farrell, to become confident in using oil paint.

“I think why my story is interesting is that so many artists struggle to make a living, and mine has rocketed over the last two years. People always ask me, how I did it, and I still have trouble believing it myself really.”

From social media, she set up a small Etsy shop to test the waters. In May, 2021, she set up a website and officially began trading as an artist. Andrea had been let go from her old job when furlough ended as her company struggled with Covid.

“At that point I didn’t have a long-term plan. After a couple of months, things went phenomenally well and I thought, this could be it, I don’t have to go back to a job in my old industry.”

Large paintings sell for £1k, and last month was her best yet. As well as selling three or four per month via her website, Andrea has her paintings on sale in seven UK galleries. In addition, she was approached by an art agency who works with hundreds of galleries throughout the UK to represent her. One of their London galleries has chosen to take her paintings to some of the UK’s biggest art fairs in Chelsea and Cheltenham.

Add to that the fact she won the British Contemporary Art competition in February this year, she is “over the moon.” The experience, she said, has been like “winning the lottery”.

“When people say what would you do if you won the lottery, this is it. Working for myself, being able to set my own schedule, thinking through my ideas. It’s my time to do something I thoroughly enjoy and work in a fantastic setting.”

She paints using reference photos, but rarely does real-life scenes. “It all comes from my head. I paint landscapes that I would like to be in. I think that resonates with people. Especially in lockdown, people just wanted to look at something where they wanted to be.”

Yorkshire, she said, is a big reason for her success: “Yorkshire is a real inspiration to me. It’s a landscape I adore, especially the moors - it’s where everything comes from for me. It’s where I spend my free time walking in the countryside. It’s such a beautiful, rugged place. Even if people can’t recognise a particular scene, they can recognise the feel of North Yorkshire in my paintings.”

Her studio is in the grounds of Newby Hall, and Andrea is flinging its doors open to the public as part of this summer’s Open Studios.

One Of Andrea's Landscapes

Visitors can access her studio for free in the grounds during the open studio weekends.

“It’s a lovely light-filled studio with huge picture windows, and I’ll have art for every different kind of budget, ranging from small fine art cards to prints to large oil paintings.”

Andrea hopes her own story will inspire others. “I used to, like a lot of people, talk myself out of things for fear of the ‘what ifs.’ What if I don’t make any money? Or that gallery turns me down? Very early on, I said to myself, I’m not going to do that, I’m going to go for it. Rather than it being about me, I think about it as my business. So, it’s not me personally taking risks, but my business. Even though the art is all about me, it’s tricking your brain to be really brave, going for it, and grabbing all opportunities.”

The Open Studios scheme is supported by the NYOS Patron, the Duchess of Devonshire.

The Duchess of Devonshire, said: “I’m delighted to support this inspiring and supportive platform, which is now in its 16th year. North Yorkshire is home to some of the UK’s most beautiful scenery, and the source of inspiration for generations of artists, including Hockney, Hepworth and Turner."

The Duchess added: “This is an exciting opportunity to discover some incredible talent, as well as champion North Yorkshire as a vibrant place for art. It offers interactive, adventurous experiences as well as the chance to get your hands on some unique artworks.”

Hester Cox - And Curlew

CLICK HERE for up-to-date art trail map and artist details.

Header Images: Hester Cox