Kentmere House holds retrospective show by ‘painter’s painter’ Roy Freer (1938-2001)

Statue At Sleningford, by Roy Freer

KENTMERE House Gallery, in York, is holding an exhibition in celebration of the work of Suffolk artist and teacher Roy Freer (1938-2021).

“Roy, who died on March 3 last year, was regarded as one of the finest painters of his generation,” says Ann Petherick, owner and curator of the Scarcroft Hill gallery. “He had been showing with Kentmere House ever since we opened in 1991 and before that at Grape Lane Gallery in the city centre.

“We have a small number of his works for sale, with prices held at their original levels of £550 to £1,800, to be followed by a larger exhibition in association with his family in the autumn.”

Roy had studied at Bourneville College of Art and Birmingham College of Arts and Crafts from 1956 to 1958. After becoming a full-time artist more than 30 years ago, he showed a single-minded focus in using overlays of rich colour to depict still-life, figure and landscape as a way of presenting a visual understanding of his subject.

“Working from a familiar selection of either studio-based still-life objects or outdoor features, Roy was concerned with the interpretation of the subject as a visual experience rather than a factual response,” says Ann.

“In his paintings, the over-layering brush marks underpin the main structure and the whole is suffused with light, depicted in strong shafts of colour across the canvas. Although still-life or landscape was his usual subject matter, he was also a very fine portrait painter.” 

Roy Freer said of his work: “Scattered objects, shaded objects, bright objects; snatches of coloured material and papers; windows of summer brightness and the darkness of winter; familiar objects not quite seen, veiled behind light, shadow and colour. These are the concerns of my painting.” 

Golden Apples, by Roy Freer

Roy, who lived in a riverside house in Sudbury, was drawn to colour, seeing the world as a very colourful place even on rainy days. “For me, the fascination of painting is to be found in the experience of the subject as moments of stillness and change,” he said.

“A landscape, for example, is a continual source of change, and one is ever aware of the passage of time, as with the movement of light from morning to afternoon. Both in landscape and still life, I want to show through colour and brush mark, a visual interpretation of the subject that reflects the magical substance of sensation and experience.” 

He was a member of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters (ROI), New English Art Club (NEAC), and the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours; painted leading players Steve Davis and Jimmy White for Snooker International and was commissioned by Shell UK to provide work for their calendar.

Although most of his work has been shown in the south, he was artist-in-residence for the York Early Music Festival and took part in two exhibitions of paintings of Yorkshire gardens in association with the National Gardens Scheme and the Royal Horticultural Society, both curated by Kentmere House Gallery.

Roy showed regularly with Mall Galleries, London; Catto Gallery, Hampstead, London; David Messum Gallery, Cork Street, London, and the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists.

Paying tribute to Roy, Salliann Putnam, of the New English Art Club, says: “I had been so inspired by Roy that I invited him to run a weekend workshop for the society. He ended up running three and they were all brilliant.

“He arrived in a small van, which was packed to the roof. We had a large village hall that Roy transformed into a world of pure colour.”

Roy assembled three large white platforms, placing deckchairs, sunflowers, pots, fabrics, cubes, painted chairs and many other objects on and around them.

Harbour Shelter, by Roy Freer

“It was a colourist’s paradise,” recalls Salliann. “Roy then demonstrated his approach to painting, and it was a revelation. From the very first mark, there was life and energy. He would mass in the big areas in wonderful colour.

“Then he would gradually move into smaller marks, mixing the colour and transferring it to his brush. He would then study his subject with a searching eye before making a mark. His work looks so free, but it is carefully considered.”

Roy taught Salliann how to look. “I recall him showing a slide of an interior with the light flooding in through the window,” she says. “Roy then adjusted the lens on the projector so that everything was out of focus.

“This was a moment of magic as the image was transformed into pools of light. Edges disappeared; tones became all important; masses appeared. Colour and tone were more important to Roy than the subject.”

Summing up, Salliann says: “Roy was an inspirational painter; he was very much a painter’s painter. I was privileged to attend a number of his courses and came away totally inspired. The art world has been enriched by Roy’s painting and his teaching. He will be so missed.”

Paul Curtis, also from the New English Art Club, says: “Roy Freer’s paintings softly tap you on the shoulder as you walk by, pulling you back to look again at the quiet, close-toned colour with one accent of light. They reflected his personality and determination to take a chance with his work in order to get it right.”

Club president Peter Brown always found Roy’s paintings “remarkably fresh”. “His ability to design the picture surface while describing form and space created welcoming atmospheres for us to enter and enjoy,” he says. “He appeared to show respect for his subject, sometimes monumentalising – say – the end of a terrace, and yet was never a slave to his subject.

“I was so pleased to hear from [his wife] Sally that his sons plan to publish an archive of Roy’s work online. Something for us all to look forward to after his sad passing.”

Still Life, by Roy Freer

Allotments produce autumn debut show by Stephen Todd at Kentmere House Gallery

Preparing For Autumn, by Stephen Todd, at Kentmere House Gallery, York

STEPHEN Todd’s allotment produce is on show for the first time at Kentmere House Gallery, Scarcroft Hill, York.

“As the gallery is surrounded by allotments, it seems entirely appropriate to mount an exhibition of them,” reasons curator Ann Petherick.

“I have in any case always found that artists are fascinated by them: everyone from Stanley Spencer to Tessa Newcomb.  Is it something about the contrast between orderliness and chaos maybe?”

Allotments In Autumn will be on show until December 6, marking the York debut of Todd, a Sheffield artist who has exhibited in London with the New English Art Club, as well as at many regional galleries and internationally too in Brussels, Belgium, and Sofia, Bulgaria. Solo shows have been held at The Ropewalk, Barton-upon-Humber, and Cupola Gallery, Sheffield.

Spring On Its Way, by Stephen Todd, from his allotment series of paintings

“Stephen’s work combines painting, drawing and occasionally photography, and along with allotments, it encompasses landscapes, seascapes, estuaries and the human form at prices ranging from £300 to £500,” says Ann.

“Painting and drawing are fundamentally about instinctive responses, and my work is based on strong mark making, often incorporating text, whether legible or not,” says Stephen. “Ultimately my work attempts to be strong, visual and aesthetic in quality.

“I paint places where I have an emotional connection, either personal or through ideas and thoughts that interest me. They provide a location where I can explore ideas, from personal history to classical references to the process of painting itself. The Humber Estuary is a major source of inspiration.”

Artist Stephen Todd at work in his Sheffield studio

In addition to his exhibitions, Todd has received awards to undertake research projects at places of historic significance, such as classical sites in Greece and Turkey, the Celtic Roman Rig in South Yorkshire and the Neolithic site of Arbor Low in Derbyshire.

“I’m interested in exploring the relationship between meaning and evidence of the past: how it affects what we observe and how we recollect it. How do we determine what we see? How do we ‘construct facts’?” he ponders.

Kentmere  House Gallery is open on the first Saturday and Sunday of each month, 11am to 5pm; on Thursday evenings, 6pm to 9pm, and at other times by arrangement on 01904 656507 or 07801 810825 or by taking a chance on ringing the bell. “Please phone in advance if travelling any distance,” advises Ann.

Whitby, seascape, by Stephen Todd

Ruth Claydon’s Free Spirit jewellery collection goes on show at Kentmere House Gallery from Thursday evening

Bridge Over Troubled Water, jewellery, by Ruth Claydon

IN a new venture at Kentmere House Gallery, York, Ruth Claydon’s jewellery show will be launched on Thursday (22/7/2021) from 6pm to 9pm.

York designer Claydon’s Free Spirit collection will be complemented by the sensitive and intricate paintings of York Minster by Susan Brown, the gallery’s resident artist from West Yorkshire.

On display too will be work by the regular stable of artists at Ann Petherick’s gallery in Scarcroft Hill, as well as artists’ prints.

“It’s the perfect match for a gallery selling original art, as each of Ruth’s pieces is completely unique, made using mud-larking finds and interesting artefacts, along with her own vintage and pre-loved jewellery gathered over the years,” says Ann.

York Minster, window detail, mixed media, by Susan Brown

Claydon’s Free Spirit collection is a creative collaboration with Conscious Apparel, an ethical clothing brand launched in York last year. Prices for her jewellery range from £38 to £128.

“I’ve always wanted to design in response to a clothing range,” says Ruth. “What makes this such an appropriate match is that all of the clothing is ethically produced, and some of their dresses are also crafted from upcycled sari fabric and thus completely unique.”

“At Thursday’s launch, customers have a chance to view and try on the jewellery at the same time as seeing the gallery’s range of original art, with prices from £150,” says Ann. “And with Simon & Garfunkel playing, in a nod to one of Ruth’s paintings being called Bridge Over Troubled Water, what could make for a better evening?!”

Regular opening hours at Kentmere House Gallery, 53, Scarcroft Hill, York, are: every Thursday, 6pm to 9pm; first weekend of each month, Saturday and Sunday, 11am to 5pm. “But we are happy to be open anytime, although we suggest ringing in advance, on 01904 656507 or 07801 810825, if you are travelling any distance. Or you can take a chance on ringing the bell if you are passing.”

Cluster, jewellery, by Ruth Claydon

More Things To Do in York and beyond as Step 3 gathers pace away from home. List No. 34, courtesy of The Press, York

York Minster, west front, by Susan Brown at Kentmere House Gallery, York

THE Roadmap route to recovery is becoming ever busier, like the roads into York. This has prompted Charles Hutchinson to resume his weekly, rather than fortnightly, eerie to spot what’s happening.

Exhibition launch of the week: Susan Brown, Kentmere House Gallery, Scarcroft Hill, York, until July 4

HUDDERSFIELD artist Susan Brown has returned to York Minster, one of her favourite locations for her architectural paintings, for her spring and summer show at Kentmere House Galllery, York.

Her artistic focus is on city life and our relationship with our environment, exploring the rhythm and movement within buildings and interiors, along with creating beautiful abstract paintings, inspired by still-life subjects and landscapes, with an emphasis on texture and pattern.

“Susan’s paintings are bold and striking, predominantly worked in watercolour and acrylic,” says gallery owner Ann Petherick. “The gallery is open anytime by prior arrangement or chance: you can ring 01904 656507 or 07801 810825 or email ann.petherick@kentmerehouse.co.uk, or just take pot luck by ringing the bell. Please ring in advance if travelling any distance.”

Kentmere House Gallery’s next open weekend will be on June 5 and 6, 11am to 5pm; the gallery has a weekly late-evening opening on Thursdays to 9pm.

Jonty Ward: Recital organist and director of music at St Lawrence Parish Church, York

Festival of the week: St Lawrence Trinity Festival, St Lawrence Parish Church, Lawrence Street, York, May 29 to June 5

A £410,000 restoration has perked up the 1885 Denman organ transferred from St Michael-le-Belfrey for installation by organ-building firm Nicholson & Co at St Lawrence Parish Church.

A celebratory festival programme will include a demonstration by Nicholson & Co ahead of the inaugural recital by Robert Sharpe, York Minster organist and director of music, on May 29 at 10.30am.

Further organ recitals will be performed by musicians associated with St Lawrence and the City of York: William Campbell, May 31, 4pm; David Norton, June 1, 4pm; St Lawrence director of music Jonty Ward, June 3, 4pm, and Timothy Hone, music and liturgy administrator at York Minster, June 4, 4pm. The Black Sheep Consort will give a 7pm recital on May 31.

Attendance is free, but booking is required for the Inaugural Recital at festival@stlawrenceparishchurch.org.uk.

A T-shirt to mark the Super Cool Drawing Machine exhibition at The Crescent, York

Hippest exhibition of the week in York: Yuppies Music presents Super Cool Drawing Machine, The Crescent, York, today (26/5/2021) until Sunday

YUPPIES Music’s touring exhibition of musicians’ “other” work, will run at The Crescent community venue for four days from today. This celebration of art created by international touring independent musicians is billed as a “much-needed exploration of fun stuff”, on show each day from 11am to 9pm with Covid-secure measures in place.

Under social distancing restrictions, attendees will have to book in advance, choosing a specific time slot to view the exhibition. Consequently, only a small number of tickets are available at £5 for each time slot at seetickets.com.

Among the artists will be will be trailblazing jazz saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings; Welsh singer/producer Cate Le Bon; experimental folk musician Richard Dawson; African-American experimentalist Lonnie Holley and drummer/composer Seb Rochford, plus members of This Is The Kit, Mammal Hands, Haiku Salut, Snapped Ankles and more besides.

Ben Caplan: Singer-songwriter, from Halifax, Nova Scotia, playing Pocklington Arts Centre in November. Picture: Jamie Kronick

Gig announcement of the week outside York: Ben Caplan, Pocklington Arts Centre, November 11, 8pm

CANADIAN folk-rock singer-songwriter Ben Caplan will play Pocklington on his European autumn tour. 

His extensive itinerary will mark the tenth anniversary of his October 2011 debut, In The Time Of The Great Remembering, and will follow hot on the heels of Recollection, a retrospective collection of stripped back re-interpretations of songs from his back catalogue, out in October. 

Venue manager James Duffy says: “I saw Ben perform at Cambridge Folk Festival in 2019 and was blown away. He has a fantastic stage presence and mixes a wonderful blend of musical styles from folk to gypsy through to rock. Imagine the love child of Tom Waits and Gogol Bordello and you’re getting somewhere close.”

Caplan’s support act will be fellow Canadian Gabrielle Papillon. Tickets are on sale at pocklingtonartscenytre.co.uk.

The girl next door in The Girl Next Door: Naomi Petersen in rehearsal for Alan Ayckbourn’s 85th premiere. Picture: Tony Bartholomew

Premiere of the week ahead: Alan Ayckbourn’s 85th play, The Girl Next Door, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, June 4 to July 3

THE SJT’s first in-house production of 2021 will be director emeritus Alan Ayckbourn’s The Girl Next Door, a lockdown love story.

Veteran actor Rob Hathaway is stuck at home during the summer of 2020 with only his sensible older sister for company. Rob has little to do but relive his glory days as fire-fighting wartime hero George “Tiger” Jennings in the nation’s favourite TV period drama, National Fire Service. 

Then, one day, Rob spots a stranger hanging out the washing in the adjoining garden, when the neighbours have not been around for months. Who is the mysterious girl next door? And why is she wearing 1940s’ clothing?

“The Girl Next Door is an affirmation of love across the generations,” says Ayckbourn. “I hope it’s positive and hopeful for those today crawling out of their metaphorical Anderson shelters blinking into the light.”

Benjamin Francis Leftwich: Playing The Citadel in his home city next February

Gig announcement for next year: Benjamin Francis Leftwich, The Citadel, Gillygate, York, February 25 2022

YORK singer-songwriter Benjamin Francis Leftwich, now resident in Tottenham, London, will return to his home city to play The Citadel on his 26-date British and Irish tour next year. 

The tour will follow the June 18 release of his fourth album, To Carry A Whale, on June 18 on the Dirty Hit label.

His first to be written and recorded entirely sober, it was made over four months last year at home, at Urchin Studios in Hackney, in a hotel room in Niagara and at a Southend studio owned by Sam Duckworth, of Get Cape. Wear Cape. Tickets are on sale at benjaminfrancisleftwich.com.

Susan Brown returns to York Minster architecture for Kentmere House show

York Minster, by Yorkshire artist Susan Brown

YORKSHIRE artist Susan Brown is exhibiting her architectural paintings of York Minster at Kentmere House Galllery, Scarcroft Hill, York, until July 4.

Her artistic focus is on city life and our relationship with our environment, exploring the rhythm and movement within buildings and interiors, along with creating beautiful abstract paintings, inspired by still-life subjects and landscapes, with an emphasis on texture and pattern.

Susan, who lives in Birdsedge, Huddersfield, exhibits both in Yorkshire nationally. Initially, she studied 3-D Design at Leeds College of Art, since when she has developed her two prime areas of interest, interior design and contemporary painting, in tandem.

The painting side of Susan has involved numerous commissions and several projects where she worked both as designer and artist.

York Minster, window detail, by Susan Brown

She paints theatrical and musical scenes, still life and landscape, but is most associated with her architectural subjects, especially cityscapes. “Her paintings are bold and striking, predominantly worked in watercolour and acrylic,” says Kentmere House Gallery owner Ann Petherick. “Her style is immediately recognisable.

“In recent years, she has focused on architectural studies of a range of European cityscapes, such as Prague, Lille, Paris Venice. Since lockdown, she has enjoyed her return to painting York.”

Susan’s musical interest has incorporated the role of artist-in-residence at the 1994 York Early Music Festival, as part of the series arranged by Kentmere House Gallery.

Her paintings appear in private and public contemporary art collections aplenty, among them Halifax Plc, Allied Domecq, the Sir George Martin Trust, the Universities of York and Sheffield, HBOS and the National Trust.

York Minster, West Front, by Susan Brown

Susan has exhibited at the Royal Academy, Royal Scottish Academy, Royal Watercolour Society and New English Art Club, as well as many independent galleries in London and across the country.

She has received many art prizes and awards, including the Laing Art Competition, Hunting Art Prize (regional winner) and Penrose Purchase Prize, and has published several books of her work. The latest, Landscape, will be published later this year, featuring her more abstract work.

“Susan has been showing at Kentmere House Gallery since 1990 and her new collection of paintings of York Minster is on show through late-May, throughout June and into early July,” says Ann. “The gallery is open anytime by prior arrangement or chance: you can ring or email, or just take pot luck by ringing the bell. Please ring in advance if travelling any distance.”

Kentmere House Gallery’s next open weekend will be on June 5 and 6, 11am to 5pm; the gallery has a weekly late-evening opening on Thursdays to 9pm. Ann can be contacted on 01904 656507 or 07801 810825 or at ann.petherick@kentmerehouse.co.uk.

Kentmere House Gallery to reopen from April 12 with Jack Hellewell’s Travels show

Arab World, Tunis, by Jack Hellewell (1920-2000)

“AT last the gallery is able to re-open,” says a relieved Kentmere House owner and curator Ann Petherick as she marks its 30th year in business by launching Jack’s Travels, her latest Jack Hellewell exhibition in York, on April 12.

“One of the gallery’s best-loved artists, the late Jack also had an anniversary to be celebrated last year: he would have been 100 in 2020,” says Ann, who first exhibited Hellewell’s work at her original gallery in Grape Lane before moving home and gallery to a Victorian former Methodist minister’s house at the bottom of Scarcroft Hill, overlooking Knavesmire, in 1991.

“Jack first showed with the Grape Lane Gallery in the 1980s and we’ve continued to present his artworks ever since. We had planned a series of exhibitions in celebration of his centenary but had hardly started on them when all had to stop because of the pandemic.

“They will now take place this year: the first, Jack’s Travels, will open next Monday and will include many paintings that have never before been shown.”

Arcade, by Jack Hellewell

Yorkshireman Jack Hellewell (1920-20000) not only travelled widely but he also lived in Australia. “All his experiences provided inspiration for his painting,” says Ann.

Born in Bradford, Jack trained as a painter at Bradford College of Art from 1949-1952 and lived in Menston and latterly in Ilkley. He saw war service in Egypt, North Africa and Italy and then worked as a graphic designer 

His travels with his family took him to Australia, New Zealand, the South Seas, Austria and frequently to Scotland. In 1976 he gave up his design work to become a full-time painter and returned to West Yorkshire.

“All his paintings were executed entirely from memory,” says Ann. “He always refused to sketch on site, believing that ‘it ties you down’, and everything was derived from personal experiences.

Socatra, Indian Ocean, by Jack Hellewell

“His travels and encounters had a dramatic impact on his painting and he had the ability to retain the essence of a place, so that years – or even decades later – he could produce a painting from it.

Much of his work used the visual experience of intense light in warmer climates, as compared with the more subtle light to be found in Britain.”

Jack always worked in acrylic, enjoying the contrasts it offered between strong and subtle colours and the feeling of movement that became such a feature in his work.  “He had the ability both to use the medium ‘neat’ on canvas, or to use it diluted on paper to give the effect of the most delicate watercolour,” says Ann.

Jack exhibited at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, in London, on several occasions in the 1990s and his work is in the collections of British Rail, the National Power Company, Rochdale Art Gallery, Manchester City Art Gallery and Provident Financial, Bradford, among others.

Sailing Hopefully, by Jack Hellewell

To mark next week’s socially distanced reopening, under Step 2 of the Government’s roadmap to recovery, the Covid-secure Kentmere House Gallery will be open every day for the initial week, Monday to Saturday, April 12 to 17, 11am to 5pm, with extended opening to 9pm on the Thursday.

The gallery then will revert to its usual pattern: opening on the first weekend of the month, from 11am to 5pm each Saturday and Sunday, complemented by late evenings from 6pm to 9pm every Thursday. “As always, visitors are welcome at any other time by ringing ahead or just taking pot luck by ringing the bell,” advises Ann, who can be contacted on 01904 656507 or 07710 810825.

Having founded Grape Lane Gallery in 1984, Ann and David Petherick bought Kentmere House in 1991 to combine a home with an art gallery. “Having seen galleries in homes in London, we could see the benefits for buyers of viewing paintings in a home setting and browsing in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere,” reasons Ann.

“For 30 years, we have searched out talented artists from throughout the UK and have thoroughly enjoyed doing so, meeting artists in their homes and studios, many of whom have become friends.

“For 30 years, we have searched out talented artists from throughout the UK and have thoroughly enjoyed doing so,” says Kentmere House Gallery curator Ann Petherick

“It has, of course, made the lockdown period more than ever frustrating, but we managed to fit in a few days in Edinburgh last September, after a brief trip to the Lake District earlier in 2020, and we’re eagerly planning visits to Oxford, Kent, Suffolk and Scotland in the near future.”

Many of the artists exhibited by Ann are nationally known names and members of national societies, specialising in semi-figurative work, with a gallery policy of combining regular exhibitors, such as Susan Bower, John Brunsden and Michael Ewart, with artists not yet known in the north or newcomers.

“All are unique to Kentmere House,” she says, eschewing the term “contemporary” to describe her stable of artistic talent. “The word ‘contemporary’ has been hijacked and is now used almost entirely to refer to abstract and conceptual work, when in fact it simply means being produced at this time.

“The result can be that many potential buyers find the art market confusing and intimidating and don’t know where to start.”

In other words, as the ever-forthright Ann would put it, Kentmere House Gallery would make a good start from April 12.

The entrance to Kentmere House Gallery and that all important bell to ring if making a chance visit

Book an art-filled present for Mothering Sunday at Kentmere House Gallery

A selection of Mascot Media art books available via Kentmere House Gallery in York

IF you are seeking a delightfully arty present for Mothering Sunday this weekend, Kentmere House Gallery owner Ann Petherick has a recommendation for you.

Books from niche publisher Mascot Media are available exclusively in York via her gallery in Scarcroft Hill.

“Mascot Media is a small Norfolk publisher specialising in beautifully illustrated books featuring paintings by living artists, mostly of animals, birds or gardens,” says Ann. “The books are priced from £10 to £25; delivery within five miles of York can be arranged before the weekend.”

Kentmere House Gallery owner Ann Petherick

Yorkshire artists include Emerson Mayes; Janis Goodman; Hester Cox; the former President of the Printmakers’ Society, Hilary Paynter; linocut printmaker H.J. Jackson and many more.

The gallery stock of paintings and prints is available too. “Just email me with your requirements; examples can be emailed to you, shown to you at our door or delivered to your door,” says Ann, who can be contacted at ann@kentmerehouse.co.uk or on 01904 656507.

Now’s the time to add finishing touch to your home revamp with artwork, urges Kentmere House curator Ann Petherick

Strictly, one of Susan Bower’s witty works, on show at Kentmere House Gallery, York

JANUARY is always a time to rethink what you want, in terms of home, job, friends and more besides, says Kentmere House Gallery owner Ann Petherick.

“Many people have spent time this year revamping their homes. Now, it’s time to add the finishing touch that will set your interior apart from the rest: original art,” she suggests. “It costs a lot less than you think and it will last you a lifetime.   

“With an original work from Kentmere House Gallery, you will have something that will complement the style of your home and express your personality in a way that a sofa or a cushion can’t.”

Kentmere House, relaxed home to Ann’s long-running gallery in Scarcroft Hill, York, shows the work of around 70 artists, many of them known nationally and exhibited nowhere else in the north.

Sunrise At Filey, by Kentmere House Gallery regular exhibitor John Thornton,

“Promising newcomers are shown side by side with established artists, so you can back your own judgement and identify the big names of the future,” says Ann. “All are at affordable prices and you can enjoy spending your Christmas gift money to buy that special piece of art you’ve always wanted.”  

Among the gallery’s new arrivals are Susan Bower’s witty family scenes, Keith Roper’s subtle semi-abstract landscapes and John Thornton’s striking seascapes and woodland scenes.

Kentmere House Gallery will be open on the first weekend of 2021, January 2 and 3, with reductions and special offers from 11am to 5pm each day. “All are welcome,” says Ann, whose home gallery also has late opening every Thursday evening, 6pm to 9pm, and welcomes visitors at other times by arrangement on 01904 656507 or 07801 810825.

Mask up for the new Susan Bower works going on show at Kentmere House Gallery UPDATED

Christmas Party 2020, by Susan Bower, in the year of the mask

NEW work by Susan Bower, John Thornton and Rosie Dean has arrived at Kentmere House Gallery, Scarcroft Hill, York, in good time for Christmas.

After the Government’s update on York’s Tier 2 status once Lockdown 2.0 ends, Ann Petherick will re-open her gallery on Thursday evening from 6pm to 9pm, followed by the usual first-weekend-of-the-month opening on December 5 and 6 from 11am to 5pm.

Oils, watercolours, pastels and original prints by 70 British artists, ranging in price from £50 to £2,000, are on display and for sale, along with books, greetings cards and Christmas cards exclusive to the gallery.

Ann has decided to open the gallery every weekend in the lead-up to Christmas until December 20, 11am to 5pm. Visits arranged by appointment will be resuming too, either by phone on 01904 656507 or 07801 810825 or by emailing ann@kentmerehouse.co.uk.

Best Friends Forever, by Susan Bower, newly installed at Kentmere House Gallery

Lockdown request prompts Kentmere House to launch Exchange Art scheme

Winter Hawthorn On Coastal Path, by John Thornton, price £280, at Kentmere House Gallery, York

LOCKDOWN affects people in different ways, notes Kentmere House Gallery owner Ann Petherick, who has come up with a new scheme in response.

“One of my customers rang: she had bought a fine painting from me 20 years ago by a Royal Academician and she had enjoyed it all that time, but lockdown had made her feel differently about it,” says Ann, who runs the gallery in her home in Scarcroft Hill, York

“So, she wondered if she could part-exchange it for another?  And I thought, ‘Why not?’. At a time like this, we have to look at everything differently and do things differently, and so Exchange Art was born.”

Autumn By The Lake, Ellerker House, by Bob Armstrong, price  £350

Under the new deal, any painting in good condition bought at Kentmere House can be considered for part-exchange.  “A valuation is offered and that amount can then be offset against the cost of another painting,” says Ann. 

“Exchange Art is a way for everyone to benefit: the buyer gets a change of scene, other artists sell their work and money circulates in the economy. It’s also a means of supporting the next generation of artists, whose careers will have been especially badly hit. 

“It’s always important to be looking out for the next generation, as they will become the national names of the future.  I have always found this an enjoyable and worthwhile process as – with no auction history to go on – you have to trust your own judgement and the feeling that you may have contributed in a small way to the development of an artist’s career is exciting.”

Approaching Twilight, by Rosie Dean, price £650

Acquiring art does not have to break the bank, stresses Ann. “At Kentmere House, we are proud to exhibit original art with an affordable price tag, so helping those who haven’t yet started their collection or those who wish to add to theirs,” she says.

The gallery stocks only originals – paintings and artists’ prints – by more than 70 artists, many of them nationally-known and members of national societies, at prices from £50 to £3,000. A selection of illustrated books by artists, priced from £10 to £30, is unique to the gallery.

Ann, by the way, has just received a new delivery of “fabulous paintings” by gallery favourite Susan Bower. “Shelter from the rain and come and see,” she tweeted on Tuesday morning.

Hilda’s Friend, by Susan Bower, price £1,200                      

Kentmere House Gallery’s formal opening hours are 11am to 5pm on the first weekend of each month, next up September 5 and 6, and late evening each Thursday to 9pm. “But in the present situation, we’re open anytime: just ring 01904 656507 or 07801 810825 to make an appointment or take pot-luck and ring the bell.”

The Kentmere House website, kentmerehouse.co.uk, is out of action but Ann updates the Twitter account regularly at twitter.com/Kentmere_H_Gall.