Ails McGee

After completing a degree in Textiles and Surface Pattern Design (BA Hons) Ails worked as an Art Teacher for 12 years. In 2005 she decided to take the plunge and turn her passion for design into a lifestyle. She opened her own art gallery According To McGee in York and has been running it very successfully ever since. She has curated numbers of very successful contemporary painting exhibitions. She loves curating solo shows, and displaying the work of artists she admires, but above all, she thrills when putting together exhibitions with lots of artists that she brings together. Finding the perfect match to that perfect painting? Trust her to do it! And she’ll do it well!

She’s been part of many partnerships. With award winning design agency The Beautiful Meme she organised a serie of art performance based happenings across the city; with One & Other Creative she was part of the judging panel in two consecutive competitions and hosted the awards event at her gallery; she’s been involved with the Aesthetica Short Film Festival for the last 5 years; with Northumbria University she launched the innovative app ‘Repentir’ in an exhibition of work from internationally acclaimed photorealist Nathan Walsh. That app revolutionises the way viewers interact with art. This collaboration directly lead to York’s successful harnessing of UNESCO’s City of Media Art status.

She’s got a soft spot for contemporary atmospheric landscapes, and if you add a bit of neon to it, she’ll go mad for it!

You can often spot her in artistic events, chatting to the coolest people you could think of. Amongst her friends, none other than Horace Panter, bassist of The Specials, and Pop-artist whom she often shows in her gallery.

Ails is not only co-founder and curator of The Artillery, co-director of According To McGee gallery, networking queen and mother of 3, she is also the brain behind the charity New Visuality she launched with husband Greg McGee in 2012, and for which she won a York Culture Award in December 2016 for Community Project Event in recognition for their project ‘Text: Technology, Disability & Art’. A few years ago, BBC Creative Interactions Day invited New Visuality to participate to their event on innovative inclusivity at Manchester’s Media City.

So yes, Ails is a busy woman, and she’s loving it! She lives and breathes art, and if you need some help choosing great art to add to your life, she’ll jump at the chance to take on the challenge!

Émilie-Rose Nédey

Originally from Paris, Émilie-Rose has spent most of her childhood visiting art galleries and museums with her family, building her now deep rooted passion for art, history and culture from a young age.

Since completing a degree in Art History and Archaeology in 2008, and then specialising in Curatorial studies in Contemporary Art exhibitions, Émilie-Rose has worked and lived in Lyon, Paris and York, always seeking opportunities to teach and share her enthusiasm for making art accessible to all.

She got her first paid job working at La Pinacothèque de Paris just after graduating. As the first private art gallery in Paris, La Pinacothèque de Paris gave her experience of working with over 5,000 square meters of exhibition space that welcomed more than 600,000 visitors every year. Émilie-Rose then moved on to manage her own exhibition space and art gallery, the only art library in Paris and its region. She created partnerships with schools and local communities, to take the art out of the gallery display cases, and out to the public, to make it accessible to all. She invited groups of homeless people from shelters to visit the gallery and gave them a private tour, letting them handle some of the pieces and giving them an opportunity to have access to art and culture. She describes this project as rewarding, and as one that more than ever convinced her that she wanted to make art accessible to all.

She was invited to join judging panels for art projects, and to take part in some VIP events to give talks as an art professional, and she always talks with passion. Don’t get her started on contemporary art, or you won’t be able to stop her… (Don’t tell us we haven’t warned you…)

Since moving to York in 2014 she has met her ‘art sister’ in Ails McGee, and from this exciting and creative partnership The Artillery has been founded. A concept that Émilie-Rose believes is the perfect way to bring art to the people, and one which artists and art enthusiasts alike should be very excited about.