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New owner of Chantry House art gallery “has fulfilled lifetime’s ambition”

The picturesque Chantry House Art Gallery in the heart of the village of Ripley, near Harrogate, is under new ownership.

Emma Hargreaves has fulfilled a lifetime’s ambition to own and run an art gallery by buying Chantry House with her husband John.

Thirty-eight-year-old Emma, who grew up in Thirsk and studied design and theatre studies in York, explained:

After a career in the textiles industry and jewellery retail, and after starting a family, I wanted to work for myself.

Of all the positions I have held my favourite was working in an art gallery. It was always a little dream to be able to run my own gallery, and when Chantry House Gallery became available, it seemed too good an opportunity to miss.

It is an established gallery, located in a beautiful village, not far from home at Hampsthwaite and the school run! We have refurbished the gallery, created a new website and encouraged some new artists to exhibit with the gallery. Our first programme of exhibitions starts in October and runs through November, with three highly-talented Yorkshire artists, Kate Lycett, Laura Wallace and Nel Whatmore.


Emma explained her hopes and her objectives for Chantry House Gallery: 

We aim to be a welcoming and friendly gallery. We exhibit original works of art including painting, original prints, ceramics, glass, wood and, soon, jewellery.

We are concentrating on talented northern artists, both established and up-and-coming, and we exhibit a diverse range of pieces that are both affordable and attractive.


The autumn programme of exhibitions starts on October 5 with a show dedicated to the talented Kate Lycett from Hebden Bridge. Her exhibition, entitled Hidden Places, Open Spaces, lasts until October 20 and will feature some specially-commissioned work by the gallery.


This is followed by an exhibition by Laura Wallace from Ilkley, whose floral studies, landscapes and seascapes are attracting a loyal and appreciative following across the country. Laura’s exhibition runs from November 1 until November 10.


Finally Nel Whatmore, one of the gallery’s most popular artists will be returning for her end –of-year exhibition which has always proved very popular from November 16 to 30. Like Laura, Nel will be bringing her beautiful florals, landscapes and seascapes to Ripley.


Emma is very conscious of the history of the Chantry House Gallery and is determined to build on its reputation.


“Chantry House Gallery was established in 1980 and has the reputation of being one of the most interesting and affordable art galleries in North Yorkshire. Previous owners, for example, have included Terry Logan, the photographer who launched the legendary Calendar Girls on their way to fame.


“This is a long-term commitment for me. I am already deriving a huge amount of satisfaction and fun from running the gallery and I feel immensely privileged and lucky to be doing a job which I really love in such wonderful surroundings and with such talented people.”


On a personal note, Emma’s favourite landmarks in North Yorkshire are White Horse at Kilburn and York Minster.


She explained: “I saw the White Horse every day growing up, and on a clear day I can still see it from Hampsthwaite, where we live. Also, I love York Minster. I studied and lived in York for four happy years, and graduated in York Minster. It is a magnificent building”


And her favourite artists?


“I have always had a real love of Italian Renaissance painting, both for its study of anatomy and use of symbolism and I wrote my thesis on Botticelli’s Primavera.


“I also love Gustav Klimt for his use of pattern and design and Henrie Matisse for his use of colour. In British contemporary art, my favourite is Richard Snowden and also I really like Stephanie Stow. And then I adore the spectacle of Antony Gormley’s sculptures,” she explained.


For further information, please contact Emma Hargreaves on 01423 771011 or visit

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