THIS weekend, many artists taking part in next month’s York Open Studios 2019 will show one piece each in a taster exhibition in York St Mary’s Church, Coppergate, York.

This launch showcase will provide an early opportunity to meet artists; gain an insight into the weekends ahead; decide who to visit and map out a trail around the studios.

York St Mary’s will be open from 10am to 5pm on Saturday and 10am to 2pm on Sunday, ahead of the Open Studio weekends, when studios and workshops will open their doors from 6pm to 9pm on April 5 and from 10am to 5pm on April 6, 7, 13 and 14.

This will be the biggest York Open Studios yet, incorporating 149 artists, 42 of them being new participants.

Painters, potters, sculptors, photographers, jewellery designers and furniture makers will be taking part in this free annual event with the open invitation to “discover hidden parts of York, from historic streets to leafy suburbs and country cottages, while tracking down studios of all shapes and sizes, whether town houses, cottage workshops or rustic garden sheds.

“Be inspired, discover new techniques, buy work directly from the artist or even try your hand at something new”.

Among the new artists will be Rob Oldfield, a museum technician and art handler, specialising in gilding and gold leaf; Marc Godfrey-Murphy, a printmaker who previously created cartoons for CBeebies and Kay Dower, a self-taught artist who works with lashings of acrylic paint.

Other newcomers will be portrait artist Keziah Burt; glassmaker Andy Griffiths; sculptor Nicola Stead; wildlife painter Jo Ruth; textile artist Elena Panina; Japanese photographer Makiko; natural world painter Katrina Mansfield; textile designer/maker Kitty Pennybaker and printmaker Greg Winrow.

New too are “fabric goodies” textile artist Gemma Clough; photographer Nigel Clarke; printmaker Harriette Rymer; textile artist Sarah K Jackson; multi-media artist Tom Smith; illustrator Jam Grantham; furniture maker Neil Fallows; sea and boat painter Penny Page and glass designer Helen Whitehead.

Further new participants are digital printmaker Ted Schofield; textile artist Linda Harvey; painter Elizabeth Henson; photographer Louis Samuel Cooper; abstract photographer Anthony Chappel-Ross; mixed-media artist Emma Lloyd-Jones; drawing specialist Frances Sladen; sculptor Andrian Melka and photographer and 3-D paper-cut artist Claire Morris.

Still more new names to discover: printmaker Meredith Andrea; acrylic and oil painter Rosie Hitchen; textile maker Rosie Waring; ceramicists Anna-Marie Magson and Philip Magson; mixed-media artist Donna Maria Taylor; landscape painter Colin Black; collage artist Elaine Hughes; mixed-media artist Jill Tattersall; painter and illustrator Edna and Co; seascape painter Carolyn Coles; multi-media artist Peter Baker and textile makers Natalie & Ruth Textiles.

Newcomer Tom Smith had a life-saving operation in 2016, since when he has been blessed with artistic vigour and an unstoppable drive but also had occasional manic episodes and a touch of synaesthesia [a merging of senses that are not normally connected].

He started painting obsessively and just could not stop, resulting in a plethora of artworks documenting his life-changing and psychedelic experience.

Eminent artist and illustrator Emily Sutton will be taking part, fresh from signing off the proofs for her second book with the late Michael Bond, the Paddington author.

Among the familiar participants are printmaker Mark Hearld, ceramicist Ruth King, expressionist artist Lesley Seeger and cow artist Lauren Terry.

Plenty of the locations feature groups of artists, not least at PICA studios, in Grape Lane, where illustrators, printmakers, potters and textile artists all work under the same roof.

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 149 of them exhibiting in this year’s York Open Studios.”

For full details and maps of all the studios, visit; for a free copy of the event programme, register online or email