Leeds Print Workshop were based at 130 Vicar Lane for the last four years, where they’ve built up a vibrant community of 160 members and have run over 150 creative workshops and courses, as well as holding regular exhibitions and providing residency opportunities for recent printmaking graduates.
A lot has changed in six months! Back in March they had no choice but to suspend memberships, cancel their public course programme and close their doors due to Covid-19.
With the Vicar Lane site being in an area earmarked for redevelopment they always knew it would be a temporary home and so wanted to look for somewhere more permanent.
The decision was made to utilise the time they were closed and bring forward a move to Patrick Studios, thanks to East Street Arts support and encouragement.
Financially this has been a tough time for the organisation with a loss of all income but they were successful in securing some emergency funding from Arts Council England which has been a massive help through this period.
Packing down and moving a vast amount of heavy equipment to the new space took a couple of months, especially as staff and volunteers all had to practise social distancing and work in shifts!.
They are now all set up in the new space and are welcoming members back into the workshop (with social distancing and Covid measures in place obviously!) It’s fantastic to see some printmaking happening and the community coming back together.
The next challenge is getting going with the public workshop and course programme again.
There are new dates in the calendar for various workshops in the autumn/winter terms.
If you’d like to immerse yourself in a little creativity you can find full details about new courses and book places on the Leeds Print Workshop website.
They are also now able to accept new membership applications again, so if you’d like to get involved and use the facilities you can find out more and sign up online.
It was lovely to get a glimpse into what our Netherlands-based residency artists have been up to during their stay with us, at their sharing event on Friday. Chiara Tammaro, Tom Dijkstra and Sijas de Groot stayed with us over the past two weeks at Convention House, and over their time discovered Leeds, studios in the city, and local communities.