Closure of the Piccadilly Pop-Up Collective art gallery in York

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ART LOVERS have one last chance to visit a pop-up art gallery in a former York tax office this weekend before it closes for good.

Organizers of the Piccadilly Pop-Up Collective say they were told they had to leave the ex-HMRC offices in Piccadilly by December 28.

Artist Richard Kitchen, one of those renting studios, said the news was disappointing, but they had always known that at some point they would have to vacate the building, which would have to be remodeled.

He said it was a great place for artists to work and exhibit their work at very affordable rates, and where it had also been possible to mentor young artists, for example from York College.

Art lovers were able to stop every Saturday afternoon to see works of art created this week – ranging from painting, drawing and sculpture to collage, murals, graffiti, arts street and photography – as part of a program of the charity Uthink PDP.

The project’s mission has been to improve the city’s cultural life and make art accessible to the widest range of people possible.

People were able to browse, chat with the artists and have the opportunity to purchase some of the works of art on display.

Richard said: “After two years we have to say goodbye this week to all of our wonderful visitors. Come help us celebrate our last weekend at # 23!

He said that on Sunday there would be a festive market from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., with “arts, crafts, music, gifts and more.”

The Lord Mayor of York, Cllr Chris Cullwick, visited the gallery with other members of the Civic Party on Saturday and praised his work in mentoring young artists.

York Press: Artist Richard Kitchen, pictured with one of his works at the gallery Photo: Mike Laycock

He said: “Over the past six months, the civic festival has grown to realize the immense creativity we have in this city. There are so many talented artists and creative individuals. In some cases, it is the pandemic that has led to discovering or rediscovering and developing these talents.

“There are also a lot of young people who come from our college and our universities looking for opportunities to develop their profession. Working from home is not always possible or desirable, but finding an affordable studio in the city where their talent can be developed proves difficult.

“U-think is a great initiative that seeks to identify and use temporarily available spaces where creative communities can thrive.

“This initiative in the old Piccadilly tax office has been such a community; providing affordable workspace, mutual support and mentorship to young and emerging artists. It provided space for both working and exhibiting.

“There is a tremendous pent-up demand for such opportunities and I hope other developers and those with suitable unused or underutilized space will see the many benefits of using them in this way. ”

* The gallery will be open on Saturdays from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., free entry.

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