MORE than 100 artists and makers invite you to look behind the scenes over two April weekends at the 2018 York Open Studios.

This long-running annual event offers the chance to explore the creative spaces of furniture makers, painters, potters, sculptors, jewellers and other makers in and around York for free.

Visitors on foot, on bike, or by car or public transport, can discover spaces rarely open to the public, from town houses and cottage workshops to rustic garden sheds. In all of them, you will find the makers ready to show you their work in person on April 13, 14 and 15 and April 21 and 22.

Among the artists taking part for the first time will be Iain Will, of Middlecroft Drive, whose oil paintings have been exhibited at York Art Gallery; Rosanna Johnson, exhibiting abstract paintings, textile hangings, printed textiles and fine art cards, in Brunswick Street, South Bank; and Emma Whitelock, whose atmospheric paintings explore the connection between the landscape and the figure, in Trentholme Drive, The Mount.

York Press:

Mousing III, paper cut, by Anna King 

New too will be Jill Shepherd, exhibiting detailed silk and cotton textiles on the second weekend only at Mount Vale Drive, her work being inspired by the Japanese traditions of sashiko ("little stabs") and boro (mended, patched rags).

Debutant Rosie Hitchen will display colourful paintings in acrylics, oils and mixed media at the York Pilates Space, The Hub Station, Wellington Row, and another new addition, Adele Karmazyn, will show digital montage prints and oil paintings inspired by curious, words, lyrics and idioms in Wilton Rise, Holgate.

First-time participant Michelle Hughes is a printmaker whose linocut prints of stylised silhouettes in tonal blocks of colour draw on nature and the great British countryside, on show in St Swithin's Walk.

Conceptualina Brutish explores themes of transition and uncertainty in contrast to everyday habit in his drawings, paintings and mixed-media works in his studio "between Westbank Park and the Cold War nuclear bunker" in Flat 3, 132 Acomb Road.

York Press:

Clocked Off, mixed media, by Russell Bailey

Multi-media artist Viraltile traces its antecedents to protest art, art interventions and interactive art practices and does not hang its work in galleries. Instead Viral tiles are left in public spaces to be discovered, the ceramic tiles being recast from social media memes, tweets and posts. For York Open Studios, work can be found at 4a Shipton Street and in "the city".

Three newcomers for 2018 are showing at the Whitestone Gallery, St Peter's School. Charlotte Chisholm's collages, drawings, prints, photographs and paintings on canvas are rooted in landscapes but play with more abstract themes to do with memory and material; Chris Hall's lino etchings and collagraph prints suggest horizons punctured with vertical structure; Hazel Battersby's painting and printmaking practice is inspired by how natural and man-made structures deteriorate and crumble and the shapes, forms and textures that are exposed.

Among the PICA artists and makers on the ground floor at 7, Grape Lane, will be Open Studios first-timer Lesley Shaw, exhibiting her linocuts, drypoints and ink drawings of animals and figurative works.

City Screen, York, has two debutants downstairs in the café bar. Danny Knight's photography explores the diverse culture that floods the city streets of modern-day Berlin; Mim Robson's presents land art and ephemeral artworks captured with photography, her work ranging from small-scale floral pieces to huge-scale sand art.

York Press:

Michelle Hughes: making her York Open Studios debut. Picture: Tom Wren

Another new exhibitor is Kate Pettitt, showing her paintings and drawings of atmospheric landscapes and the human form at Castlegate House, Castlegate, while the Healing Clinic, in Merchants Place, has four newcomers: sculptural ceramicist Deana Massey, sculptor Rudo Bolcar; Sally Dixon, who specialises in textile taxidermy creatures inspired by British wildlife and a love of textiles, and Samantha Furmanis, whose ceramic sculptured animals will feature on the first weekend only.

Kat Wood makes her YOS debut with her colourful bowls, tactile 3D forms and jewellery created from hand-felted fibres and silks in Hambleton Terrace; Dave Atkin's functional spoons, carved from greenwood, can be seen in Galtres Road, off Stockton Lane; Anna Vialle's detailed pen and watercolour drawings, influenced by natural history and Victorian and Japanese prints, will be on show in Tranby Avenue, Osbaldwick.

Outside York, at the Arnup Studios at the top of Holtby village, Hannah Arnup's stoneware functional pottery with sgraffito decoration in rich glazes, features in York Open Studios for the first time. Regular participant Ben Arnup, meanwhile, will be presenting trompe l'oeil ceramics and sculpture at his Love Lane cottage studio in York.

Printmaker Angus Vasili combines architecture, photography and texture in his experimental work at 14 Hall Park, Heslington; Russell Bailey shows expressive, experimental mixed-media work with everyday elements in Heslington Lane, Fulford.

York Press:

Running Hare, felt, by The Crafty Wytch

The Crafty Wytch, the artistic alias of The Press's Alison Spaven, is a new addition with her 3D sculptures and pictures, inspired by Yorkshire wildlife, on display in Laburnum Grove, Stillingfleet, with her work being created from pure wool and other natural fibres with a single felting needle.

Jewellery designer Karen J Ward joins the YOS line-up at York School of Jewellery, in Hospital Fields Road; paper-cut and collage artist Anna Cook is one of two Ambrose Street debutants, the other being artist and sculptor Zosia Olenska further up the street. New too is Ric Liptrot, with his illustrations of everyday life in York, at Fulford Picture Framing in Fishergate.

Victoria Villa, in Heslington Road, will play host to three artists: photographer and printmaker Claire Cooper, who combines memoir, fiction and fact; Stephen Aspley, with his rugged, provocative paintings and sculpture and photographs, exploring the degradation of landscape and materialistic values; and jeweller, painter and ceramicist Zoe Catherine Kendall.

York Press:

Collection of necklaces, Merino wool, by Kat Wood

Familiar names abound, from Dan Howden, recipient of the Anthony Dawson Young Printmaker of the year award to Gerard Hobson's images of nature and wild animals; from Lauren Terry's characterful cows to Charis Raine's Scandinavian-influenced works, both at Bar Lane Studios; from Ruth King's pots to Marcus Jacka’s handcrafted furniture.

Event chair Beccy Ridsdel says: "We're very lucky to live in such a vibrant, creative city with so many wonderful artists and craftspeople. We're really excited, pleased and proud to have over 100 of them exhibiting in this year’s York Open Studios."

April 13's opening hours will be 6pm to 9pm; the two Saturdays, 10am to 6pm; Sundays, 11am to 5pm. For full details of all the artists and maps of the studio locations, visit; for a free copy of the event programme, register online or email