CORNER Gallery, just off the buzzing Bishopthorpe Road in York, is fast approaching its first birthday.

Kay Dower has created a stylish space with a constantly changing window and a relaxed vibe in Scarcroft Road. "The emphasis is still on local, affordable art," says Kay, who is often to be spotted painting at her easel or guiding small groups of children who attend her after-school Art Squad.

"There have been more than 50 kids signing up for the six-week courses since I began running them at the start of the year, with many regulars rejoining after each course."

Art Squad is aimed at seven to 13 year olds and Kay has been impressed with the number of eager young talent keen to wield a pencil or a piece of charcoal. “The highlight for the children is that they choose their favourite artwork at the end of the course and I exhibit it in the window of Corner Gallery. From Pikachu to pineapples, landscapes to lemons...I've even sold a couple of pieces to genuine customers, much to the delight of the children. And before you ask, no, I don’t charge commission!"

Adults can join in on all this creativity too with a fun night that started as a prize for Scarcroft Primary School’s fundraising auction. "Drink & Draw sees small groups of friends – I only have six chairs! – getting together, bringing their own alcohol of choice to Corner Gallery and being gently guided and cajoled into drawing for the evening," says Kay.

"People seem to find these arty evenings fun, surprisingly relaxing and something a bit different. At the end of the evening, they leave with grubby fingers and a sketch pad full with at least one drawing they are proud of."

Marking the first year, Corner Gallery has a place on both the York Art Map, organised by Lotte Inch of Lotte Inch Gallery in Bootham, and as dot number 31 on the Indie York Map, a guide to promote independent retailers in York.

Both are available from Kay's gallery, where the opening times are 10am to 4pm, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and 10am to 1pm on Saturdays or by appointment. For more details on Art Squad or Drink & Draw sessions, call Kay on 07973 656717 or e-mail