Yorkshire is well known for its agricultural and artistic culture however, these contrasting spaces don’t often come into contact with each other. That was until, in 2005, a small group of artists set up shop in a few of the cattle pens in Skipton Auction Mart. The arts and crafts fair now occupies the entirety of the Mart on an annual basis, each pen replacing the usual livestock with the work of makers, artists and craftspeople. Nowhere do the two worlds of livestock and art collide so energetically as they do at Art in the Pen.
Felters, knitters and woodworkers to painters, potters and jewellery designers the breadth and variety of work available is testament to the creative capacity of the North
The friendly and welcoming nature of the fairs allow you to meet and chat with the artists informally while exploring their work. Whether you’re looking for new work from established names or keen to find new emerging talent, they are all to be found in this unlikely artistic space. Although the artists take inspiration from anything to everything imaginable, there is definitely a strong influence of natural form and the rugged Yorkshire landscape.
This year the event had to operate slightly differently with an online fair. It is a particularly crucial time to support local artists while they can’t travel to or put on art fairs. On the Art in the Pen website their directory of artists is a great place to discover and explore local art online. From felters, knitters and woodworkers to painters, potters and jewellery designers the breadth and variety of work available is testament to the creative capacity of the North. You can easily lose yourself among the online artist’s spotlight pages, just as you would while wandering through the maze of livestock pens.
Whether you’re looking to buy or just looking to be inspired by the inventive use of mediums, Art in the Pen is a meeting point for the best makers and creators in Yorkshire.