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Rural Arts 30th Anniversary Exhibition

On Tuesday the 6th of June Rural Arts, a North Yorkshire-based Arts Charity, will be showing a 2-week long exhibition to celebrate its 30thAnniversary which took place on Monday the 13th of March 2023.

Rural Arts is a charity that delivers inspiring and inclusive creative opportunities that enrich lives and connect communities by providing over 400 events each year at their community arts centre in Thirsk.

The 30th Anniversary Exhibition will take place at The Courthouse, Thirsk, showcasing an array of artwork by North Yorkshire residents produced over the last three decades.

Exhibition organisers, Sorcha McCole and Catherine Gray said; “Being involved in the curation of this exhibition has been a brilliant way to see the amazing impact rural arts has had on communities across North Yorkshire during its 30-year history. We’ve especially enjoyed seeing the amazing quality of artworks that have been produced through the excellent teaching of artists and staff alike.”

Work featured will include the processions banner, celebrating the lives of women in North Yorkshire and designed by founder Angela Hall.

“The banner that will be included was made for the Suffragettes’ Centenary Anniversary in 2018. This was a hugely successful community effort, masterminded by Angela Hall. Sections were made by a lot of different people (to an agreed design) and then all joined together,” said Morna Stoakley, a regular workshop attendee at Rural Arts. “It was so successful that, if I remember correctly, it was featured on the main BBC news when it was part of the huge London anniversary parade.”

The exhibition will also include a postcard auction. Each postcard has been created by North Yorkshire-based artists who have contributed to the charity, in a variety of ways over the years. There will also be a memory wall, where people across North Yorkshire have shared their fond memories of Rural Arts over the years.

These include recollections of the many outreach projects Rural Arts have been involved in during its 30 years. One stand-out project, right towards the beginning of Rural Arts, was “The Crackpots” mosaic trail in Nidderdale, which was developed under the supervision of Margaret Murphy at Rural Arts.  There have also been many brilliant projects supporting both younger and older people in the communities, as well as those who are long term unemployed or who have poor mental health or long-term illness, which is really a testament to the impact the charity has had on the communities across North Yorkshire during its history.

Ian Read, Rural Art’s new CEO said; “At Rural Arts we believe that creativity exists in everyone’s ‘home’. We are going to continue to support and grow this vision so that more people can harness their own innate abilities. So, communities can connect through shared passions, and rural areas are no longer seen as disconnected and isolated.”

You can visit the exhibition at Rural Arts, Westgate, Thirsk, YO7 1QS. Opening times of the exhibition, are between Tuesday 6th June and Saturday 17th June, 10am – 4pm, Tuesdays to Saturdays.