THE Uthink Piccadilly Pop Up art studios and gallery must vacate their temporary premises in York,by the end of the month after being served notice by the re-developers.
In 2019, the charity Uthink PDP (People Developing People) took over York’s former tax office headquarters at 23, Piccadilly, when it was sold by City of York Council and began renting out space to York artists.
“Since August 2020, we’ve opened to the public every Saturday to showcase our work, give or take a plague or two,” says Richard Kitchen, one of Piccadilly Pop Up’s founders and artists.
“We now comprise 15 artists, including some who have exhibited elsewhere, some who have been selected for York Open Studios, a handful of young artists, from York College, on our mentoring programme, and a nationally renowned graffiti artist and muralist.
“Our work ranges from painting and drawing through abstract art and collage to photography, sculpture and installation. There’s even some poetry.”
To mark the “suddenness of the circumstances” behind the closure, Pop Up Piccadilly’s final events will be held this weekend to “celebrate all we have achieved during our tenancy”. On Saturday, public opening will be as usual, from 12 noon to 6pm; on Sunday, a festive market and extended art exhibition will run from 11am. Admission is free.
A morning-till-evening special exhibition, “commemorating our beloved building” with photographs, art, spoken-word contributions and possibly a sound installation or musical performance, was under discussion for December 21 but will not go ahead.
“We’d be very happy to see you this weekend, especially if you haven’t visited us before,” says Richard. “We were gaining quite a reputation for enterprise and innovation and were much loved and admired by many of our visitors.”