Double showcase for York College emerging talent at According To McGee and Fossgate Social

June 24, 2017

Tower Street gallery According to McGee relaunched last month with a successful exhibition, ‘We Made Something Of This’. Exhibitees include Specials rock star Horace Panter, ex-miner Harry Malkin and award winning digital artist, John Creighton. “It has been a great show, and we’ve seen footfall and sales treble over the last month,” says gallery director Greg McGee, “A lot of that has been down to the quality of the internationally well regarded artists, but a crucial part has been played by the York College students Rudo Bolcar, Kate Buckley and Layla Khoo, all of them selected by Layla herself. These are some of the hungriest, most vital artists in the area. All contemporary galleries benefit so much from exhibiting the work of top notch students it really should be an obligation. The best litmus test of a city’s cultural scene is the quality of its young artists: by that token, York is doing pretty well.” Greg points to the long and fertile relationship between his gallery and York College, an establishment Greg feels has maintained excellence for years.”They do such a cracking job and incubate the sensitivity and creativity of hundreds of young artists. The discipline is there too. We gave Layla, a student, a ring and asked if she’d help us select fellow students for the show. Within hours, she’d done it, organised photography from Carolyn Young, and collaborated with York Graphic Designer Andrew Jones on a game changing aesthetic.” The series of York College artworks, entitled ‘While the Ink is Wet’, hangs on the McGee walls with a second run of prints holding court at The Fossgate Social. Layla is especially pleased to see her work featured in different gallery spaces “As a graduating degree student, it’s very flattering and exciting to have a gallery willing to support emerging talent. As a sculptural artist, it can be difficult to have your work on display – the limited edition prints are a perfect solution to this and also give the opportunity to provide context to the work. I think it’s really important that work is shown in more public and informal spaces like the Fossgate Social exhibition – it makes art more accessible for everyone”.

The York College students’ work is augmented by that of selected new talent Amelia Willows, Anna Molloy, Eddie Grant, Jack Rientoul, and Jessie Meyer. “We’ve always celebrated new artists,” says Ails, “Sometimes a performance or an installation is great only if you physically witness it. What we’ve done at Fossgate is build on the aesthetic put down by Layla and Andrew’s designs and nail a Penguin paperback classics vibe, by capturing the artwork and unifying it . It really adds to the desirability and collectibility of the work. We’ve had sales, it’s a great exhibition at one of the coolest coffee bars in the city. What’s not to love?” Fossgate Social owner Sarah Lakin is pleased to continue the riff of top quality exhibitions. “We’ve been holding monthly exhibitions at the Fossgate Social since we opened three years ago. All sorts of creations have gone on display including clothes, hand-made animals, photographs, prints and drawings. According to McGee have become regular exhibitors, because as gallery owners they have their fingers on the pulse of what’s hot and happening, but also, and perhaps more importantly, they are such fun people!” Greg is flattered by the complement, but stresses that the priority is wider opportunities for new artists. “We’re very proud with what we do at our gallery and with satellite shows such as this, but it’s the citywide crackle afoot that is the most exciting. Fossgate Social are part of it, we’re part of it, but we’re subordinate to the actual young creatives out there. York is such an exciting place to be at the moment, and it’s an honour to be part of it.”
This article first appeared in York’s The Press, 21st June 2017.
‘While the Ink is Wet’ runs at Fossgate Social until 29th June 2017


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