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Art &...Joy!

On Friday, my dear friend Sarah and I, went to the first day of the three day art show Art &, now held at York racecourse. It hosts 120 artists, featuring paintings, textiles, woodwork, ceramics, jewellery and sculpture. 12 of these artists are new artistis in the RAW Talent section, who also gain a 6 month mentoring programme.

The standard is very high and the Art & team curate the show beautifully.

One of my favourite parts is the Art & Home, where various interior designers have created seven very different room sets, to show off the work of a range of chosen artists, in a home setting. The staff meeting and greeting us in the ticket foyer guided us to start with this area, upstairs, so we were ushered into lifts and away! With glossy brochure and map in hand we made notes, as we went around, of various artists we especially wanted to seek out, based on what caught our eye here. Then we headed downstairs. RAW Talent was next next. We both felt the standard was, overall, much higher here than last year and I especially loved the abstract work of Alysia Webster.

Now we headed to the ground floor, laid out in four's huge! Here we found the remaining 108 artists and makers busy chatting with visitors in their white panelled stands. We had a good catch up with a few artists whose work we especially love (Sarah and I have surprisingly similar tastes!) such as Paula Dunn, Mick Leach, Lesley Shaw, Magnolia Restrepo and Charlotte Morrison.

After a couple of hours we were getting mental overload so headed to the café for a lunch break! There was a good range of hot and cold food and plenty of tables. So we sat and reviewed the glorious work we'd seen, who we are yet to see and where we wanted to go back to. We'd collected enough business cards to play poker!

We both bought small items from ceramicist Katie Lowe (pictured above) who creates exquisite armies of small vessels in simple forms and gently graded colours.

Behind her was the interactive wall. Last year we had drawn our portraits. This year was a Wish Before we Died! Some good political commentary and lots of fabulous dreams were written in!

Part of me was also mentally clocking how to create good stand design. I had wanted to apply for this years show, but was hit by bronchitis at application time and chickened out! So perhaps I'll go for it for 2020. I'd be so thrilled to take part in a show I have so enjoyed is a well respected show, well curated and a very high standard. Cross your fingers for me!

All the artists we spoke to seemed very happy with the organisation (lots of helpers, good loading and storage, great advertising too) and for me, it's a great venue. It is easy to get to, plenty of free parking and I love their use of the light, bright space...especially the hanging installations in the stairwells, including one by the very talented Lu Mason. Stunning!

What will Art & 2020 bring?!

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