Academic joins call for support for artists in North Yorkshire’s rural communities

Published: 24/02/2020

Why should you have to move to a city to make art?

Close up illustrated art work

Imagined Environments (Jigsaw box) by Sally Taylor

Artists are warning that North Yorkshire’s rural communities could face a cultural ‘brain drain’ because of a lack of creative infrastructure. The Art Happens Here Collective (AHH) has teamed up with Crescent Arts in Scarborough to invite local artists to have their say in the future direction of visual arts in the region.

The Art Happens Here forum is aimed at artists, or anyone who wants to support creative communities. It will address questions including: How do we nurture emerging artistic talent and support our creative communities? What ingredients are needed to create the conditions that encourage and enable artists to make, sustain and communicate their work; especially those living and working in rural locations?

Sally Taylor, Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at York St John University, and part of the Art Happens Here Studio Collective said: “Artists can feel dislocated when living in rural communities. Providing affordable workspace keeps artists in a particular area and community, rather than creative people feeling the need to move to urban centres where workspace is often a part of the fabric of a city. It's about highlighting the value of keeping artists in rural areas.”

Since the Autumn of 2018 the AHH artists have been working at Community House in Malton, a building they recently turned into artist’s studios. The forum will mark the opening of their latest exhibition, one which aims to highlight the need to work within a supportive creative arena where values and interests can be discussed and nurtured.
Stuart Cameron, Director of Crescent Arts, Scarborough said: "Artists need to be consulted as part of the process of defining cultural strategies and, since this is not usually the case, we've decided to create an opportunity to bring together a range of creative practitioners to give voice to their concerns. We hope that their views will be acknowledged and embedded in new arts and cultural strategies across the region."

The Art Happens Here forum takes place on Tuesday 25 February at Woodend, The Crescent, Scarborough 3.30pm – 5.00pm, followed by the exhibition preview: 5.30pm – 7.30pm at Crescent Arts. Sally's work will be exhibited alongside that of fellow AHH artists Andy Black, Kate Black, Serena Partridge, Rachel Renwick and Lyn Wait.

Read more about Crescent Arts here

Read more about Sally Taylor's work here

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