We are a small charity (officially called a charitable incorporated organisation – CIO) based in Ilkley run by volunteers. Ilkley is famous for its beautiful moor with ancient rock carvings and its medieval Manor House.
Ilkley Arts has 3 main strands of activity – the annual Ilkley Art Trail, the Ilkley Arts studio that is a venue for exhibitions, workshops and is also home to the Ilkley Art School and the Ilkley Arts Creative Network where artists and creatives can come together to share ideas and thoughts about their and other artists’ work.
Our core mission at Ilkley Arts is to promote and celebrate the arts in Ilkley and surrounding areas to enrich the lives of residents and visitors and to support and help the development of our exhibiting artists.
We work with a wide range of organisations to achieve this mission from those whose focus is on developing the younger generation such as Art School Ilkley, Bradford School of Art and Nell Bank Centre to those who are working with individuals, families and carers whose world involves dementia and other age related conditions.
Who we are
Ilkley Arts has a board of trustees who are strong team of volunteers who are passionate about art and making Ilkley a great place to live.
Sarah moved to Ilkley in 2010 and is a retired NHS Director. Previous roles include Director of Workforce for large acute (4000 staff and £250m budget), mental health, learning disabilities and community NHS Trusts. She was the Chair of the Regional Skills for Care Councils and the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations. Specialist areas of interest include organisational, team and individual development. She is a passionate art collector and amateur print maker.
Jeremy arrived in Yorkshire as a teenager to attend Leeds University and stayed ever since. He moved to Ilkley in 2010. Jeremy runs his own consulting, coaching and facilitation practice specialising in collaborative partnering. He works with SMEs and clients in local government, health and the arts. His pro bono work includes supporting students at Leeds Trinity University who are starting their own business. He is interested in coaching as an art form and is a professional Street Wizard.
Libby has lived in Ilkley since 2003 and set up as a jewellery designer and maker after she completed an HND 3D design course at Craven College. She has extensive professional experience of charity and voluntary services having set up the Harrogate Library Big Lottery volunteer scheme and worked for Ilkley Council for Voluntary Services. She has lived in Belgium and France, working in tourism and property businesses, and in 1992 trained as a teacher at Reading University. She still tutors and she exhibited on the Art Trail for the first time in 2015.
Joanne spent her teenage years in Leeds, then lived 18 years in London and moved back up north to Ilkley in 2015. Joanne is an artist using mostly recycled materials, she has exhibited worldwide and is represented by 2 London based Galleries. In her spare time Joanne loves to swim and was a trustee at Hampton Open Air pool, London.
We have a small band of fantastic volunteers who help to make Ilkley Arts work. If you would like to part of this team please complete the volunteer form.
A few years ago, Ilkley Arts existed only as an idea in Lorna Bird’s imagination. Born out of her community spirit and experience within the creative arts and music industry, she conceived the idea of an Art Trail in 2010. However it took all of her considerable energy and tenacity, to turn an exciting idea into a successful reality. Lorna recalls those early thoughts: “Let’s do a call-out. We might have a handful of artists who are interested, and we will see what we can do with that!”
In those early days she formed a fruitful partnership with artist Lucia Smith, who joined , bringing a passion to make something happen for art and artists in Ilkley that matched Lorna’s own. Their combined energy, and enthusiasm saw a successful launch in October 2011 with 28 artists showing their work in ‘pop-up’ exhibition spaces all over the town. Ilkley Art Trail was born. It was a huge success from the very first day, and under Lorna’s unwavering guidance, by the third year it was an expected event on the Cultural Calendar of the Region.
In 2016 Lorna decided to step down to pursue new challenges. She has wide experience of art administration and community involvement and currently works with HFT, an organisation that creatively supports adults with learning disabilities. She has worked as a project manager and performer within the creative music and visual arts industries and has lived in Ilkley for over 30 years.
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