YORK charity New Visuality is to illuminate the wall of its gallery window space at According To McGee with the artwork of the city’s young talent.
After holding creative workshops for 25 participants over Easter and renewing its collaboration with University of York’s SplashBy, New Visuality will mount a showcase of digital projections of art, films, and slogans at the Tower Street art space from early May to early June.
“Not only do we want to get the projections up and running before the summer evenings take over,” says charity director Greg McGee. “But also the artwork has been so good, and the links made between grassroots football clubs, community cafés and the city’s heritage so healthy, that a digital exhibition in our window opposite the newly refurbished Clifford’s Tower makes perfect sense, especially if it’s to be done in a timely manner.”
New Visuality’s Art Camp sessions, funded by City of York Council’s Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme, focused on healthy eating, physical exercise and how to reflect these issues in painting and digital art.
Teenage art ambassadors from York High School, All Saints School, Millthorpe School, and Archbishop Holgate’s School led the sessions. “Generally, the younger people came from the west of York,” says Greg, “So the visual reference points were West Bank Park, Hob Moor, Acomb Front Street and Acomb Green, but there was also a York-wide conversation to be had.
“One thing we found was that there are so many young people who haven’t experienced heritage in their city, so we organised a trip to Bar Convent Living Heritage Centre.
“As ever, the welcome was warm and the experience was a real buzz, especially the reading session we had with internationally published author Karen Langtree.”
Bar Convent staff were delighted to see the young artists sit down and draw, take photos with professional cameras and listen to the excerpts.
Volunteers manager Lauren Masterman says, “It was a joy to welcome these young artists to the Bar Convent. They brought great energy and enthusiasm as they explored the chapel and the collections in our exhibition, and it was lovely to see how much they enjoyed Karen Langtree’s interactive storytelling session. We’re very much looking forward to seeing the artwork they have produced.”
The activities were fuelled each day with fresh food from Choose 2 Cafe, a not-for-profit social enterprise based in Hull Road. “The food was great and led to lots of discussions on how fast-food outlets manipulate catchy slogans and attractive colour schemes to reel you in,” says Greg.
“To help hammer home how important a healthy lifestyle is, we knew we had to get in someone who the young people could relate to, so we gave grassroots football club York RI a call.”
Step forward Under-14s players Matteo and Niall. “Their careful guidance and knowledgeable overview of what to eat and how to make fresh fruit as attractive an option as fast food were humbling,” says Greg.
“As far as we’re concerned, Matteo and Niall can proudly call themselves art ambassadors and can count on similar paid opportunities in the future. I’m looking forward to watching them continue to help develop the creativity of the young people we work with.”
Matteo was delighted to take part in the activities, “It was great to be around creative people and help inspire them with how to draw art linked with sport and to give advice on what to eat and how to exercise.”
Look out for the digital projections in the window of According To McGee from May 5, every night from 5pm to 10pm, for a month. “The artwork itself is excellent, and now we have the technology we can get it out in an elegant, immersive way and allow it to develop with the artwork from future art camps,” says Greg.
“Watching this project evolve from a school holiday art camp into a far-reaching collaboration with York schools, Bar Convent, and York RI Football Club has been a highlight of my career.”