A NEW pop-up art gallery opens today in a former fashion store which has lain empty and boarded up in York city centre for more than a year.

Works by 14 York artists - from paintings and pen and ink drawings to photographs and textiles - are being exhibited in 'Created in York’, which has been set up in the ex-Dorothy Perkins/Burtons shop in Coney Street.

The project is the work of arts charity Skippko, which has agreed a 12-18 month lease on the property from its new owners, Helmsley Group.

Coordinator Phil Dodsworth said its Blank Canvas programme used empty buildings on a temporary basis and had previously been based in streets including Gillygate and Blake Street, but without the firm knowledge that it could stay there for at least 12 months.

He said about 60 artists had applied to show their works in the Coney Street exhibition space and so a rota had been created, under which 14 would exhibit for a couple of months before making way for another 14 artists, and so on.

“York has a fantastic array of artists and makers, so to house a selection of them under one roof in the centre is a really exciting concept,” he said. “It will be great for local people and visitors to the city to be able to view and purchase locally produced, original art and crafts.” He said the gallery was also a boost to the city centre, at a time when many shops and stores were closing their doors.

Artist Vince Dank and Katie Murphy were at the gallery yesterday preparing their exhibitions for today’s opening. "It’s a great opportunity," said Vince.

Other artists include Gail Fox, Caroline Utterson, Matthew Lightfoot, Russell Hughes, Kris Hughes, Jane Wilson, Galina Titova, Nicola Cook, Greg Winrow, Nick Kobyluch and Karen Winship.

l The gallery, with free admission, opens from Wednesdays to Sundays.