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The York Art Workers' Association is an eclectic group of craftsmen, artists, conservators, academics and others who share a serious interest in the design of buildings, interiors and landscapes. Members represent architectural craftsmanship, other applied arts, fine arts, architecture and conservation. We welcome not only practitioners in these fields but anyone with a keen interest or appreciation of art & design.

We exist to extend and share our knowledge and experience through a programme of monthly talks, normally on the first Monday of the month (doors open at 7pm). We also organise occasional courses, workshops, outings & social events. Our talks are open anyone with an interest in the arts.

If you would like to know more about the association please feel free to get in contact, we will be happy to offer advice on becoming a member.

Where, when and how much?

We meet at Southlands Methodist Church, Bishopthorpe Road, York YO23 1NX. There is parking at the church, on nearby streets and in the local car park by the shops, a few minutes' walk away. There is cycle parking too and it is on a bus route. There is level access and the meeting room is on the ground floor.

All events are on the first Monday of the month (unless otherwise stated).

Events start at 7.30pm. Doors open at 7pm – please aim to be seated by 7.15pm.

Admission: members £2, non members £5.

Membership and programme enquiries to:info@yorkartworker.org.uk

Next events:

Ben Porter, Founder/Managing Director of York Creatives/portrait and lifestyle photographer

Monday 9th May 2022

Ben will speak about York Creatives, which was founded in 2016 with the purpose of supporting the local creative community through the sharing of ideas, contacts and resources. Activities include running regular events including markets, talks and socials; working to increase access to affordable workspace and building online resources to signpost to under used assets in the city. 

He will also talk about the book which he produced and published last year. York’s Creative Spaces is a collection of photographs and interviews profiling the studios, workshops, galleries, creative offices and independent venues of York, UK. Created by Ben Porter, this book documents the quirky, historic, repurposed spaces York’s creative community inhabits and creates work from, and is a beautifully illustrated and fascinating volume.

Visit York Creatives website    

Visit Ben Porter photographer's website

Peter Bayliss, photographer
Exploring Creativity: A Photographer's Journey

Monday 6th June 2022

Traditional photography aims to capture what is there. The glorious building or a dramatic Landscape.

For some this is their life’s passion. Others are known to emulate the best by going to the same locations to copy their images. For me I was looking for more…

In my journey I wanted to do something different. Working in projects, ongoing and evolving. These include ‘Creative Composition’, ‘Monochrome madness’, ‘Camera movement’ and ‘Altered Reality’. Using my own work this talk aims to demonstrate that fine art photography goes beyond the record shot.

Peter is currently President of York Photographic Society and offers a wide variety of photography talks in person and on Zoom.

Visit Peter's website

Petra Young, Funding & Development Manager, Yorkshire Forest District

Monday 4th July 2022

For more than 50 years Forestry England has been engaged in outdoor arts activities across the country. Many people will have heard of the arts in Grizedale and Kielder Forests. In 2017, Forestry England launched an arts strategy for Dalby Forest as the latest venue for high quality arts activities. Petra Young, Forestry England’s funding & development manager, developed this strategy in partnership with Crescent Arts and Helen Sear. Petra will talk about the achievements so far and the plans for the near future. Stories about sculpture as well as arts education, workshops and exhibitions.


Petra at Rachel Whiteread’s Nissen Hut © Tony Bartholomew

Peter Maris, Sculptor

Monday 4th September 2022

Sculptor, Peter Maris was invited by Forestry England to submit proposals for a series of new artworks in Dalby Forest which then gained funding from Arts Council England. He chose to use this opportunity as a period of intense professional development by setting up collaborations with a small but diverse range of practitioners and with the aim of examining his own practice and extending his horizons through experimentation and the development of new creative approaches.

In this talk he reveals insights into the transitions he was able to make in each collaboration, the engagement of a rigorous self-critiquing process and the attempts to meet the challenges in the process of breaking down personal ‘perceived barriers and taboos’.

The talk will be complemented with illustrations of each collaboration and will also feature the work of artist photographer Peter Heaton, stained-glass artist Ann Sotheran, writer Jayne Murphy and musician Sean Noonan.

Visit Peter's Facebook page

Visit the Cartshed Studio Art Projects Facebook page


Residuum Sculpture 5 (credit: Peter Heaton)

Izabella Gill-Brown, Art Historian and Conservator of Fine Art
Sculptural Narratives: The secret and surprising history behind two marble busts

Monday 3rd October 2022

Has a piece of figurative sculpture ever enthralled you to the extent you’ve used your own initiative to reveal the story behind it? That’s what happened to Izabella when she came across two rather unusual but stunning marble busts painted in watercolour that were commissioned by Queen Victoria. With only a name to start with, she has over the last 3 years worked to uncover and piece together their unique narrative. Ranging from the Royally appointed sculptors, to who the subjects were and the lives they led, she now looks at the shocking context of the culture these sculptures now represent. This talk is a remarkable account of what she discovered.