An exciting new cultural showcase will see the remarkable talent and diversity of Leeds’s artists celebrated at the city’s art gallery next month.
Leeds Art Gallery has gathered a stunning selection of contemporary artworks submitted by artists working across different disciplines for the first open exhibition at Leeds Art Gallery in more than a decade, which will welcome the public on February 15.
Last October, the gallery issued an open call to the city’s painters, sculptors, photographers, moving image artists, and artists working in all media, to put their work forward for the show.
And over the past few months, an expert panel has been carefully selecting work which celebrates the talent and diversity of the local arts scene, and which explores some of the key themes and concerns of artists working currently in Leeds. The Leeds Artists Show coincides with the ground-breaking Leeds 2023 Year of Culture – a year-long celebration of culture in Leeds.
The exhibition also introduces the next generation of artists with drawings and paintings by 21 young people from Leeds primary schools. Part of the project has been supported by Leeds 2023 and is connected to The Wild Escape, a major new project uniting hundreds of museums and schools in a celebration of UK wildlife and creativity.
Jane Bhoyroo, principal keeper at Leeds Art Gallery, who was part of the selection panel for Leeds Artists Show 2023, said: “There are many brilliant & dedicated artists working in the city today and I see Leeds Artists Show 2023 as a declaration of love to the Leeds art scene.”
Fellow panellist Derek Horton, a writer and curator based in Leeds, added: “Ever since I moved here in 1992, I have been involved in various ways in bringing artists to Leeds, and doing my best to support those who live and work here. So, it will be a real pleasure to be involved in the Leeds Artists Show 2023, which will highlight the city’s thriving and ever-expanding visual arts culture.”
Artists whose work has been selected by the panel include Sarah Roberts, who co-founded and curates the artist led curatorial project Hyde Park Art Club at Hyde Park Book Club.
She said: “I’m delighted to be part of the Leeds Artists show alongside many local artists that I already admire and respect, and some equally brilliant new names.
“The Leeds Artists Show is a great opportunity for me, for my artist-peers, and for our city. The revival and re-imagining of this historic open show by the curatorial team at the gallery and selection panel seems to reflect a determination to make Leeds Art Gallery genuinely accessible, for artists and visitors in Leeds and beyond, and that’s pretty special.”
Also showcasing their work will be Suman Kaur, winner of the BBC Big Painting Challenge 2017. She said: “Leeds has a lot of artistic talent, and a lot of it comes from diverse backgrounds. So it’s important that these communities are given opportunities to succeed. It’s great to see the local art scene changing to become more inclusive and I’m thrilled to be a part of this exhibition.”
Councillor Jonathan Pryor, Leeds City Council’s executive member for economy, culture and education, said: “This show represents a truly exceptional opportunity, not only for the artists who will see their work on display in the prestigious Leeds Art Gallery, but for the city as a whole as we shine a light on the very best of culture in Leeds.
“The artistic talent and diversity we have in Leeds is second to none and there is no better time to celebrate and recognise how exceptional our local arts scene really is. This will also be a chance for visitors connect with the artists living and working in their communities and to see first-hand the cultural excellence on their doorstep.”