Following a similar ethos, Blueberry Pop Up Shop focuses on the benefits that art and crafts can have on individuals. This is a space that showcases items handmade by people with disabilities from The Blueberry Academy, which can be perused and bought in store. Having recently moved to a new site on Walmgate, the shop is having a positive impact in numerous ways; by filling otherwise empty outlets with vibrancy and interest, by promoting creativity in the city of York, and by providing real opportunities for disabled adults in the city. This can include guidance, employment, education, community, achievement and wellbeing of all those involved, and undoubtedly deserves the city’s continued support.
A longstanding project whose model is to occupy empty buildings is Blank Canvas, operated by Skippco, with the tagline ‘change through creativity’. Skippco have large spaces in northern cities, and Blank Canvas has temporarily taken on some places in York to be used for the likes of studios and exhibition venues. Their pop up galleries have displayed local artists and makers of paintings, prints, pots and such things, whilst their studio spaces encourage a range of creativity, from drawing to film making, in exciting evolving settings.
The final mention in this piece goes to a place with a truly niche approach, apt for this city: The Viking Dragon. This bizarrely brilliant shop delves deep into Viking gear. Here, you can find everything you need to get started with Viking crafts (!) as they specialise in hand-crafted Viking re-enactment direct from Scandinavia & Northern Europe. It has the largest selection of Viking products, and their expertise also supplies museums, movies, theatres and schools. The crafted goodies available range from a simple wooden bowl to a silver Raven ring, and so many more unimaginable oddities!
All of the above listings offer their own unique angle of arts and crafts in York, and between them provide an outlet for everybody to get their craft on.