Let Us See You

"Supporting and celebrating Leeds artists"

‘Let Us See You’ will be an 12 month project of curatorial artist support and development, and exhibition opportunities for Leeds based artists culminating in a series of exhibitions across the city at key partner venues. We want to open up the process of curation and selection for an art show by investing in artists from the very beginning of the process and offering support right through to the end; kicking off by hosting a series of accessible surgeries that demystify the application and selection process, that focus on what the artists’ needs are rather than a predetermined curatorial focus. ‘Let Us See You’ builds on the inclusive work of Aire Place Studios and continues to support the work of communities that experience barriers to participation.

about us

Meet the Curators

Sarah Francis is an award-winning artist who works predominantly with paint, sculpture, and photography. Francis has recently been awarded Art Council DYCP funding, and Seed Funding from East Street Arts to develop her practice. Her work has been recognised in Aesthetica’s 100 Best Contemporary Artists in Europe and her work is held in a number of collections worldwide, including the Leslie Lohman Museum of Art in New York City.

In addition to her art, Francis is the Founder and Director of Aire Place Studios, and curator at APS gallery centred around innovation and inclusivity.  As a freelancer Francis also curates a number of discussions, exhibitions and events that challenges the exclusion and ‘othering’ of artists called The Artist and the ‘Other’ which has recently been funded by British Art Network and the Tate.

Lucy Fiona Morrison is an International Artist and Curator of the annual Great Yorkshire Show – Art Show, Harrogate.

Career highlights include exhibiting at The New Art Gallery Walsall, IKON Gallery Birmingham, Nuneaton Museum & Art Gallery Warwickshire, Gallery 23 Edinburgh, The Other Art Fair Arnolfini Gallery Bristol, and The Brick Lane Gallery London. Morrison’s paintings are held in private collections internationally.

Alongside her art practise Morrison is the Exhibitions Officer at APS Gallery. APS aims to provide a programme of exhibitions that champion the various communities we represent and specifically encourage those under-represented in the arts.

workshops

It’s Not You, It’s Me – 27 April

Leeds art gallery

Meet the Panel

Courtney Spencer

Courtney Spencer (b. 1980 Sydney, Australia) is an artist, curator and collaborator who has been based in Yorkshire since 2005. She was the director of Left Bank Leeds for five years, began the Leeds Summer Group Show in 2015 and founded The Art Court to support artists and collectors in the North of England.

She has worked with organisations including the National Trust, the British Library, The Mercer, S1 Artspace, Leeds Museums & Galleries, and Leeds Playhouse. She writes a monthly column for The State Of The Arts called Snooping Through Studios featuring artists connected to the North of England.

@the_art_court

Georgia Taylor Aguilar

Georgia Taylor Aguilar (she/her) is Exhibitions and Artist Development Curator at The Tetley, championing care and critical thought with artists and communities. Selected exhibitions include Hibiscus Rising: Creating a memorial for David Oluwale with Yinka Shonibare, Afra Eisma: splashdown tender and Emily Hesse: The Witches’ Institution. She has worked internationally with partnerships across India, Sri Lanka, Nigeria and Grenada. She was an Arts Fundraising and Philanthropy fellow, holds a BA in Fine Art (Leeds) with MA Art Gallery and Museum Studies (Manchester, 2020). She co-founded Index; an artist-led festival to coincide with Yorkshire Sculpture International (2019) and was Cultural Co-Producer with YVAN. Past projects include curating Manchester’s first Cosgrove Hall Films Archive exhibition, as well working with Jerwood Arts, Art Night, LUX Scotland, European Artistic Research Network, The British Council, Slung Low, Leeds 2023 and Opera North.

@georgiatayloraguilar

Lucy Fiona Morrison

Lucy Fiona Morrison is an Artist, Curator, and Exhibitions Officer for APS Gallery. APS aims to provide a programme of exhibitions that champion the various communities we represent and specifically encourage those under-represented in the arts.

Alongside her role at APS, she is the Curator of the Art Show at The Great Yorkshire Show. This annual art exhibition showcases and features professional artists from the Yorkshire region.

In 2020 she established The Virtual Art Fair driven by a desire to offer a virtual space for Artists & Collectors to connect, in the absence of physical spaces in which to exhibit artwork during the pandemic. 

With a varied background working in the arts and cultural sector, including in the role of Exhibitions Officer at Nuneaton Museum & Art Gallery, she has worked with many artists at different levels of their careers.

@lfmartworks

It’s Not You, It’s Me – 27 April

We need to collectively work on making the art world more personable, not more personal. We take so many things to heart. Every no, every rejection, every moment as it is personal- as it IS to us. So many people just give up making as the no’s just pile up so high, we cannot take the weight any longer. I am one of these people – I gave up making art for 9 years as I was all noped out. When did being creative become so much about other people? When did we as creative give others so much power over what and who we are?

How can we start unpicking why we feel so much hurt, so much imposter syndrome? Every single person I meet feels it. We need to start reclaiming the creative world as ours, we need to work more collectively to uplift, celebrate and just say no to this imposter syndrome which does not belong to any of us. As I am me, this is me – and no one can tell me any differently.

It’s not you, it’s me will be talking with curators who select work for open calls, who send out their no’s, but also feel and see it all as the artist themself. I know emailing you with ‘Sorry but this time your application was not successful’ is gonna hurt, I feel you – I have felt it.

This conversation will involve personal experiences on how selections are made, common mistakes which are made and a chance to hear just how selections are made. Often your ‘no’ has no value or reflection on how good the work is.

Afterwards we’ll break into small groups and share ideas, thoughts and get this conversation going to start working towards the changes that are well overdue!

Going Dutch – 17 February

Leeds art gallery

Meet the Panel

Chloe Kutkus Morton

Chloe Kutkus Morton is a freelance artist and illustrator living and working in Leeds. After graduating with a BA Hons in Art and Design, she enrolled on an enterprise course with The Prince’s Trust and set up as a sole trader in 2016. Despite specialising in printmaking at University, Chloe has since returned to painting and drawing in order to earn a living from commission work. Alongside her practise Chloe runs the successful business Pet Portrait Illustration

@petportraitillustration

Alan Coulson

A contemporary artist working predominantly in portraiture. ​
​Alan exhibits regularly in both the UK and US, notably as part of the prestigious BP Portrait Award at the National Portrait Gallery London, where in 2012 he was awarded third prize for his portrait of Richie Culver. Alan has produced commissioned work ​​for clients including The New York Times Magazine, The Sunday Times Magazine, Bloomberg Markets Magazine, Carlton Books, The Chronicle Review and Club Wembley. 
​He has works in numerous private collections and is represented by Anthony Brunelli Fine Arts NY. 
​Currently living and working in West Yorkshire.

@alancoulsonartist

Sarah Francis

Sarah Francis is an award-winning artist who works predominantly with paint, sculpture, and photography. Francis has recently been awarded Art Council DYCP funding, and Seed Funding from East Street Arts to develop her practice. Her work has been recognised in Aesthetica’s 100 Best Contemporary Artists in Europe and her work is held in a number of collections worldwide, including the Leslie Lohman Museum of Art in New York City.

@sarahfrancis.art

GOING DUTCH – 17 February

Talking honestly about money is not always an easy thing. In the art world we are told to fake it until we make it – but what is this really doing to our self esteem? Our Imposter syndrome? How can we have realistic expectations on how to make it? What even is ‘making it’? 

After many years being a creative, talking to creatives, holding groups with creatives I can safely say no one has a clue. All this faking we are making is just not the kindness in the world we need. We have collectively set ourselves up to fail. So let’s start looking at how we can change this!

Going Dutch will focus on who is picking up the bill at the end of the day. It will be a frank and honest chat by different kinds of creatives on how they make their living, what their day job really is, and highlight different routes into sustainable and realistic creative practices. 

Most importantly we look at reframing what sustainability really is. As we also need to look at some hard truths of how we as creatives need to make changes in how, why and what we are doing – we need to start looking after each other. We often throw statements like ‘The world does not value artists’ ‘We should be paying artists!’ but on the other hand say ‘I’m not paying for that, it should be free!’. Who is picking up this bill, being undervalued, being asked to work for free? Guess who – yes it’s me, the artist. Most spaces that offer opportunities and open calls are generally run by artists trying to pay their rent and bills to keep their creative practice sustainable. So being undervalued for your time, effort and experiences does sting. 

Going Dutch is the start of a conversation about transparency, about accountability and about working collaboratively and collectively. 

Once our panel has chatted about what we think you’d like to know, we will break it down into small groups for a Q&A with each of the artists for you to ask what you want to know!

Visit the Exhibitions

Collective Creativity – The Atrium Gallery 

(10 February – 27 April 2024)

An exhibition that celebrates Leeds creativity. We are excited to be exhibiting at St James’ Atrium as this amazing venue will aid the professional development of the ten showcased artists. All the artworks are for sale to support St James and the incredible work they do.

Collective Creativity is the first exhibition showcase of Let Us See You; a project that builds on the inclusive work of Aire Place Studios. Let Us See You looks to support and celebrate the work of Yorkshire artists through exhibitions by hosting a series of activity across Leeds throughout 2024.

Participating artists: Jess Kidd, John Gamble, Anji Timlin, Joss Cole, Sarah Francis, Elizabeth de Broise, Louise Atkin, Clem Archibald, Lucy Morrison and Gareth Bell

The Atrium Gallery, Bexley Wing, St. James’s University Hospital, Beckett Street, Leeds LS9 7TF

Let Us See You – APS Gallery Edition

(23 February – 22 March 2024)

Opening Event: Friday 23rd Feb from 6:30pm

Showcasing Leeds talent ay APS Gallery. This exhibition is a wonderful opportunity to discover works from emerging artists in the region. For some of these artists it is their first exhibition so come and support our collection of over 30 talented artists at the launch event on Friday 23rd February 2024, 6:30-9pm, to celebrate our region of Yorkshire Art, Artists and Creatives. Exhibition continues until 22 March 2024.

Participating artists: Erin Nicholson, Jack So, Chloe Maybury, Joanna Michon, Patrick S. Ford, Jenny Ping Lam Lin, William Vinegrad, Zhiyang Ding, Ayah Almasri, Hayley Grimston, Morticia, Su Yao, Janae Steadman, James Lee, Jenna Jay Hurles, Emma Hinde, Rose Dufton, Tallulah Howarth, Anna Turner, Moe Min, Liza Danial, Mo Robertson, Kerensa Star, Rachel Prince, Emily Barden, Ella McBride, Harry, Jasper Oaks, David Ranby, Dawn S Art, Ailsa Read, Dawn Woolley, Laura Moon, Ry P Harris, Jack Hurley, Joanna Jowett, Samantha Wraith, Nicola Garvey, Sutherland Feather Art

Visiting times at the APS Gallery are Fridays (11am – 3pm). 

APS Gallery, Unit 2C, Aire Place Mills, Kirkstall Rd, Leeds LS3 1JL

Let Us See You – Left Bank Leeds Edition

(5 March – 30 March 2024)

Opening Event: Wednesday 6th March from 6pm

Aire Place Studios is delighted to be partnering with Left Bank Leeds for the third exhibition showcase of Let Us See You; a project that builds on the inclusive work of APS. Let Us See You looks to support and celebrate the work of Yorkshire artists through exhibitions by hosting a series of activities across Leeds throughout 2024

Join us in the porch gallery at Left Bank Leeds on Wednesday 6th March 2024, 6-9pm, to celebrate the opening of this wonderful exhibition. Expect to see a colourful display of digital prints, screen prints and paintings on offer. Most of which are available to purchase from £35.

Exhibition continues until 30 March 2024.

Participating artists: Kate Ferguson, Lauren Towner, Nicholas Smith, Amreen Hussain, Skye Cormier, Lydia Rain, Andrew Allsop, Lauren Asquith, Ben Winter, Simon Lewis, Melissa Wilde, Daygen Gaunt, Bejojoart, Jude Allen, Sophie Flynn, Tyler, Snooze.

Visiting times at Left Bank Leeds Gallery are Monday – Fridays (9am – 5pm) For weekends please check their website for opening hours. Find out more here: 

Left Bank Leeds, Cardigan Rd, Burley, Leeds LS6 1LJ

How to get involved

With thanks to our funders, partners and supporters: