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Summer holidays on Piccadilly

Art of Protest workshop
AOP Projects Spray Paint Workshop

The 2023 summer holidays have arrived at SPARK, York's creative community hub, with plenty of events and activities on offer throughout August.

On Friday 11th August, all fine food and drink enthusiasts will enjoy a one-of-a-kind tasting experience hosted by the founders of Cooper King Distillery, local sustainable distillers operating on 100% renewable energy. During the event, you will explore a collection of rare and unique spirits distilled from ingredients farmed and foraged in our very own Yorkshire. These will include spirits developed with the region's leading restaurants, such as Skosh, The Black Swan at Oldstead, and Roots York, alongside the distillery's own sustainable spirits.

On Saturday 12th August, a pop-up photo exhibition will launch in the SHOW space, documenting Japanese-inspired spray paintings in the public realm by the dynamic duo Tetsuo and Hy One. Prints will be available to purchase along with other affordable merchandise. The attendees will also be able to sample some Rum Punch. The entry is free, but we encourage securing your spot in advance via the SPARK website.

SPARK is also running the summer art competition themed around the future of York and climate change. The submission deadline has been extended until Sunday, 20th August, to give a bit more time, especially to the younger artists who have recently started their school holidays, for applications to be made.

The Makers Market returns on Sunday, 13th August, featuring a unique selection of handcrafted products from local creatives, including handmade hair bows and ornaments, stationery, prints, and illustrations.

On Saturday 19th August, SPARK will be screening a double bill of horror films directed by a York-based filmmaker, Liam Regan, including My Bloody Banjo and the latest film Eating Miss Campbell, produced by Troma Entertainment. The viewing will be accompanied by Q&A with the director, signing and photo ops with the lead actress Lyndsey Craine, and many more surprises!

For all the young artists, there is also the chance to sign up for some spray painting workshops with AOP Projects, where you will create your own mini mural and learn the basics of design, colour theory, and drop shadow. Emily and Rosie from Little Pickle Creatives are returning with their summer-themed craft sessions, with everything from collages to pom pom ice creams to bunting. The Frozen Sisters from the Fairytale Encounters will join us for an afternoon of games, activities, and a sing-along screening of Frozen.

Headlock Vintage will also be back with their pop-up vintage store, offering a wide range of unique clothing items and funky accessories. Ooey Gooey Bakes, Cheesecake Queen and Smudge’s Fudges will take over the pop-up space at Unit 3, filling it up with their homemade sweet treats.

Julian Pace, Spark's Venue Director, said: "Supporting small and local is at the heart of what we do, and our events program shouldn't be any different. Working closely with some of the greatest small businesses and creative people, we are excited to bring the people of York activities that are engaging and promote the community feel in an environment that is welcoming to all.''

SPARK is looking forward to another night of live comedy on Tuesday, 29th August, hosted by Burning Duck Comedy Club! Keep an eye on SPARK social media channels for future performer announcements.

For more information and to book your spot, please visit the SPARK events page.