Flourish – An Open Art Exhibition

Summer Series Swiss Jug by Amy Rose Clyfan

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist when we grow-up (Pablo Picasso).

As a child so many of us create, joyfully painting colourful images; huge figures looming large in the distant perspective. We don’t care that it isn’t quite as we envisaged it. We have-a-go and when the image is pinned on the fridge we are thrilled to bits.

So many of us stop doing that as adults but, listening to our fabulous customers, we think many of us would love the chance to get creative. Not only that, we think we’d still be secretly over-the-moon if it got pinned on the fridge!

So, the idea for the Owl & Monkey open art exhibition was born; inspired by the late 19th century exhibitions of Yorkshire and the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition; an event to celebrate the creativity ready to flourish in us all and a chance to share the results.

‘Flourish’ will launch during Bloom,York’s first floral festival which will run 5th – 8th July to celebrate 250 years of the Ancient Society of Florists.

In keeping with the city’s floral festivities and the horticultural heritage of York (the Lupin was developed here and just round the corner from Owl & Monkey, Backhouse Nurseries once ran their landscaping and plant business) ‘Flourish’ will ask for submissions on a horticultural theme. Flowers or foliage, veg’, allotments or house plants, all subjects on a botanical theme are welcome as are all mediums of work be that ceramics, painting, printing, sculpture, textile or more.

Submissions are open now until 12th May and the only criteria for work is that is should be:

  • The creator’s own.

  • An original piece (this can include original prints, e.g. lino prints)

  • No larger than A3 in size for pictures

  • No larger than approximately 60 cm high by 30 cm wide/deep for sculpture or ceramic pieces.

  • On a horticultural theme.

  • Available for all the application viewing and exhibition dates.

Most importantly, ‘Flourish’ is open to all. We actively encourage those who have not previously exhibited, sold or displayed any work, those who are not considering a future in art to new artists building a portfolio and seeking new experience.

All the submissions will be co-curated with a panel of local artists. They each come from a wide variety of backgrounds and with a range of different styles and mediums. Together we will select the works to be included in the exhibition and these will be displayed alongside a new piece of work by York artist, Amy Rose Clyfan, who is known for her beautiful floral themed work.

The exhibition itself will run from 4th July – 11th August with a special launch evening on 5th July for all the participants, their friends and family.


Do Works Need To Be For Sale?

You are welcome to place your work for sale. To be fair to our other artist there will just be a commission 30% fee for this. However, if you would prefer not to sell your work this is also okay. We will pay all participants for any sales (minus the commission) at the end of the exhibition.

Do I Need To Put My Name On My Work?

Again, this is entirely up to you. If you would prefer not to have your name displayed next to your work that is no problem at all.

Do I have to frame my work?

No, we will happily accept works that are not framed and these will be displayed unframed.

How will the pieces for the exhibition be chosen?

The curation will take place via an initial photograph submission phase. We ask that anyone wishing to take part in the exhibition emails or posts us up to five high resolution photographs of their work by 12th May. The artist panel will meet with us to create a long-list of submissions that we will ask to see in person. We will ask for the original pieces of work to be dropped off at Owl & Monkey between 8th and 9th June so the panel can see the original pieces for the final selection.

How do I submit a photo for the first phase?

Please email us on hello@owlandmonkey.co.uk or post your submissions to Owl & Monkey, 16a Heslington Road, York YO10 5AT so that they reach us by 12th May. Please include up to five high resolution images of your work. It is great if you can include a few different angles to really show off the piece.

Please include the following information in your email/postal submission:

  • The size of your work (excluding any frame or mount)

  • The size of your work including any frame or mount.

  • The medium you have created it in (e.g oil on canvas, lino print)

  • A 2-3 sentence piece about your work – what inspired you to create it, what is it about?

  • A 2-3 sentence piece about you. Have you exhibited or sold your work before, do you create just for fun?

  • If submitting by post don’t forget to put a contact name and telephone number in.

We will contact everyone who submitted photos to the first round to let them know if they have been long-listed for phase two and we aim to do this by 27th May.

How do I submit my original piece for the second phase?

We will then ask anyone submitting their work for phase two to drop this off at Owl & Monkey 8th – 9th June, ideally during our shop opening hours. We will ask you all to collect your work from us on the afternoon of 10th June.

We will aim to let everyone know if their piece has been selected for the exhibition by 17th June.

What happens to my work between the final selection and the exhibition?

We are only a very small shop so, to ensure your work can be stored safely and to keep the magic of the surprise for the exhibition, we will ask you to collect your work from us on 10th June. We then ask that all pieces are delivered to the shop 27th – 30th June ready for the display.

How long will my work be displayed for?

The exhibition will run from 4th July – 11th August with a special launch evening for friends and family of participants on 5th July.

When can I collect my work?

You can collect your work when the exhibition closes on 4th August. We ask that all unsold works are collected by 7th August.