Kentmere House Gallery to open for York Residents Festival on January 25 and 26

Jug & Figs, oil on board, by Susan Bower

KENTMERE House Gallery, in Scarcroft Hill, York, will be open for York Residents Festival on January 25 and 26 from 10am to 6pm.

The work of around 70 artists is on show at any one time in Ann Petherick’s home gallery: some from York, some from Yorkshire, others from artists across the country. 

“This includes Freya Horsley’s atmospheric York townscapes, which have attracted many admirers, and David Greenwood’s vigorous pastels of Skeldergate Bridge and many York townscapes, along with the distinctive red brick houses of the Knavesmire area,” says Ann, who extends a welcome to all, not only York residents

The interior of Kentmere House Gallery, in Scarcroft Hill, York

“There’s also exciting new work from nationally known artist Susan Bower, who lives near Tadcaster but whose work is mostly shown in London.”

Prices start at £200 for original works and £50 for original prints. “We also have books and cards exclusive to the gallery, reductions, special offers, five per cent discounts for residents and a free 14-day home trial.”  

The gallery’s involvement in York Residents Festival has been a great success in previous years. “A gallery in a home setting is still a curiosity, and I believe many people feel some slight trepidation at entering,” says Ann, whose usual opening hours are 11am to 5pm on the first weekend of every month, every Thursday evening from 6pm to 9pm and at any time by appointment – “just a phone call in advance to check we’re in” – on 01904 656507.

Hull From The South Bank, gouache on paper, by Bob Armstrong, on display at Kentmere House Gallery

“Alternatively, we work on the principle that ‘if we’re in, we’re open’ – just ring the bell. But  you would be amazed how many visitors say they have been walking past for years but never been in. The Residents Festival emboldens them, however, and gives them that little extra incentive.  

“Then there are many – even some living nearby – who say that they didn’t even know the gallery existed. It’s truly one of York’s hidden gems and this festival is the ideal time to sample its unique atmosphere and to introduce it to your friends.”   

The front door of Kentmere House Gallery in York

In addition to the art on display, Kentmere House is an interesting property in its own right. “It was built by the Methodist Church in 1898 as their own offices and a staff dwelling,” says Ann.

“The quality of the workmanship and materials used in the building is exceptional, and it’s one of the few buildings in York roofed with distinctive Westmoreland green slates.

Flamingos, acrylic on paper, by Jack Hellewell, at Kentmere House Gallery                  

“We bought the property in 1991: the large rooms, high ceilings and spacious staircase make it ideal for use as a gallery. Two rooms, the hall, stairs and landing are used for display, with more than 100 paintings at any time.”

Should you be wondering, the name Kentmere was chosen by one of the Methodist staff involved at the time, as he was a frequent visitor to the village of the same name in the Lake District. 

Rugby and whisky enthusiast Paul Blackwell “likes to paint a bit” for Village Gallery show

Duncombe Park, in pastel, by Paul Blackwell

NORTH Yorkshire artist Paul Blackwell will exhibit his Treescapes at Village Gallery, Colliergate, York, from January 14 to February 22.

Blackwell and his wife, fellow artist Anne Thornhill, ran a gallery in Grosmont, on the North York Moors, for more than 20 years before selling up and moving to an 18th century farmhouse overlooking the Esk Valley near Whitby. Here they have a barn studio, where they both continue to work.

Ash Tree In The Late Autumn Light, in pastel, by Paul Blackwell

Blackwell uses many different media, from oil and acrylic to pastel and pastel pencil. “Paul is passionate about wildlife and the natural landscape and a lot of his work is done from the 14 acres they have as a small nature reserve,” says Village Gallery owner and curator Simon Main.

Blackwell reveals he has always had two passions in his life. “The first is rugby and the second, malt whisky,” he says. “But I also like to paint a bit: landscapes mainly.

Paul Blackwell and Anne Thornhill’s home and studio in the Esk Valley

“My work is a reflection of my interest in the complex and emotional interchange of colours, as I attempt to convey the vibrancy and radiance of a landscape and the depth of its emotional impact.

“I often use the medium of pastel as it’s particularly suited to my way of working, using colour juxtapositions to create energy and dynamism, rhythm and balance.”

The Strid Woods, in pastel, by Paul Blackwell

After starting work on site, usually in monochrome, Blackwell enjoys exploring the colour structure once back in the studio. Frequently keeping the formal content simple, he creates a uniformity of atmosphere and feeling through his application of colours, as can be seen at Village Gallery from next Tuesday.

Gallery opening hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm. In addition, the gallery will play host to a preview evening on January 13 from 5pm to 8pm, when Paul Blackwell will be on hand to discuss his work. Free tickets are available from Simon Main on 07972 428382 or 01904 411444 or at