CALLING all artists - two local charities need YOU.

York Mind and the York group of charity Rethink Mental Illness are planning to hold a fundraising art exhibition and auction in the gallery on the first floor of York's City Screen cinema.

But first they need to find the artwork...

A similar exhibition held at the cinema in May last year attracted 60 original artworks donated by local artists. When they were auctioned they raised £1,700, which was split equally between the two charities, says York Mind community fundraiser Holly Bilton.

It may not sound like a lot - but for charities struggling to make ends meet it made a huge difference, Holly says.

Many of York Mind's specialist service are grant funded. But its core administrative costs are not. "It is a daily struggle just to raise the funds we need to keep our doors open and to pay our bills," she said.

York Press:

Holly Bilton, with an artwork from last year's exhibition, outside the City Screen

The exhibition last year ran for two weeks. Visitors posted bids for the artwork on display - and at the end of the exhibition, each work went to the highest bidder. Running totals showed the current state of bids, so that art-lovers knew how much they'd have to pay if they wanted to secure a work of art.

It was a fantastic event, Holly said. "It really surprised us how successful it was!" And in addition to raising money, it increased awareness of the vital work the two charities are doing in York.

This year, the charities plan not only to repeat the exhibition - but to extend it. The aim is for it to run for a whole month at City Screen - from October 26 to November 26 - giving visitors more chance to see the art, and more chance to bid for it.

So there's just the matter of that artwork.

The charities are looking for work from established artists and enthusiastic amateurs alike. Works should be based loosely on the theme of 'Change', which was the theme of this year's Mental Health Awareness Week. But that can be interpreted pretty freely, Holly admits.

There are some rules, however. The charities have put out a brief to help you.

Donated artworks should be original pieces. They can be any size and in any medium, but should be framed and able to be mounted on a wall. In order to increase the diversity of artwork on show, only one submission will be accepted from each artist - and each piece should include the artist's name and the title of the piece.

And that's it.

So if you'd like to see your work featured in a major exhibition and be able to help raise money for a good cause at the same time, get your thinking cap on...

To help you, we have included in the gallery above photographs of some of the artwork featured in last year's exhibition. Why not see if you can do better?

  • If you would like to donate an artwork for the Change exhibition at City Screen, contact Holly Bilton at York Mind’s community fundraising team on 01904 643364 or at Submissions must be completed and delivered to the York Mind office in Clifton by Friday September 29.

The two charities which will benefit from the exhibition and art auction

York Mind

York Mind, formed in 2011 through the merger of York & District Mind and Our Celebration, is an independent local mental health charity which aims to help people experiencing mental ill health to begin the journey to recovery.

The charity offers a range of services for local people, including:

  • a young people's project offering one-to-one and group support for those aged 13-25
  • a mentoring programme
  • counselling
  • befriending
  • peer support groups
  • advocacy
  • activities aimed at improving mental health and wellbeing

The charity also campaigns to raise awareness of mental ill health and to combat stigma.

To find out more, visit

Rethink Mental Illness - York group

Rethink Mental Illness is a national charity which helps millions of people affected by mental illness by 'challenging attitudes and changing lives'.

It offers advice, advocacy, carer support, community support, nursing and residential care, housing, mental health training, and much more.

It also has a network of more than 100 support groups across the country - including the York group.

The groups offer a range of support, including

  • Self-help
  • Information
  • Peer support
  • Campaigning and fundraising

To find out more, visit