Founders and owners of Bils & Rye Kate and Nick Bentley live for art. It is their passion, along with two daughters and characterful dog.
Kate spent 10 years working as an artist, her work covered figurative through to seascapes and much in between; her last body of work was a series showing the diversity of Highland Cattle! Kate was once brave enough to take on the mantle of home educating our daughters for 18 months until they found a school they fell in love with, and now splits her time between helping to run the gallery and using her artistry in the restoration of antique pianos. She has a love of dogs, horses, chocolate and entertaining (not necessarily in that order), and of course art!
Nick spent many years in a variety of careers including air traffic control, building, event management, catering and sales. Never has he been happier than running the gallery. He has no formal art training, preferring to believe in aesthetics and finish rather than theory – he also takes a pretty fantastic photo! Outside of art and ceramics in particular, Nick loves motor racing, cricket, reading and eating out! Wine is also quite important.
Layla Khoo – Gallery Manager
Layla is the newest member of the Bils & Rye team and has quickly become part of the family. Layla fell in love with the gallery, it’s contents and it’s ethos immediately, so much so that she relocated to Kirkbymoorside! Having recently graduated as a mature student, Layla divides her time between the gallery, studying for an MA in ceramics, her own studio practice and running around after her two children.
Our aim is to provide an experience with an unpretentious, relaxed approach. Somewhere that questions can be asked and there’s no need to know everything (or indeed anything) about art. Through conversation and careful curation, we hope to improve on and impart our growing knowledge of modern ceramics, sculpture and painting in a friendly and informal way – it usually involves a cup of tea, and invariably heads off at a tangent.
We look for art works that have a beauty in their aesthetic, are well executed, and finished to the highest standard. We look for artists who will develop their skills and create a coherent and evolving body of work. Most importantly, we look for pieces which we love, created by artists with real passion for their work.
We selected Kirkbymoorside ('the gateway' to the North York Moors) as the next home for Bils & Rye after an extensive search for a suitable building. Typically, we had walked past the old White Horse Hotel in Kirkby, as it's know as locally, hundreds of times but never considered it due to the outward appearance of the building. Despite being a Georgian building of some standing, 6 years of laying idle and many years of underinvestment left if looking a little worse for wear. In early 2016 a new landlord took ownership and begun a program of renovations. We then helped this along the way by securing a lease for the entire ground floor, a little over 120 square metres. The renovations concluded in the summer of 2017, and have transformed external appearance much to the delight of the local residents, our landlord and of course the Bils & Rye team. The local support as we prepared the building was immense and our eternal thanks goes to, in no particular order, David Wood, Mike Pilley, Jess Shaw, George Gold, Aidan and Sarah Delacey-Simms and the countless friends who helped with our precious girls whilst we worked all hours! Without these and many more we would have never managed our ambitious 5 week renovation and opening deadline. We now have three beautifully curated, well lit rooms, displaying our finest collection yet of sculpture, ceramics and paintings to date.
Transport and Parking
Kirkbymoorside has a regular bus service – details of which can be found here on Kirkbymoorside’s very own town blog: http://www.kirkbymoorside.info/transport/
And here: https://www.eyms.co.uk/bus-services/timetable/128
The town offers ample parking, with free parking spaces on the cobbled market area in the centre of town – please note that there is a 2hr time limit for this and it is enforced by parking wardens! Additionally, there is a large pay and display car park located near the top of the high street behind the Library. Please click here to be taken to our map page
Latest Online Review from Style and Story.
"Stunning art gallery with passionate and helpful owners. Nick and Kate are great. Their devotion to art shows through in their pieces which they speak about so passionately. Their knowledge of the artists is second to none. The pieces in the gallery are varied, beautiful, thought provoking and suit a wide range of pockets. They love their gallery- and rightly so, I love it too!"
" This gallery is an oasis of beauty in our town. It was a surprise to see Bils and Rye opening a gallery of such high quality in our 'working town', but it was a decision of genius. We're sure it will become a much loved destination for visitors to this beautiful part of North Yorkshire. Several good cafés nearby too." JE, Kirkbymoorside
"I found out that Bils & Rye had a piece of work I was looking for and sent them a message late in the evening via FB, not expecting a reply until the next day. Not only did I get a reply but photographs and and very usuful information. Highly recomended!" JA, UK
"The very best in modern contemporary art. Never thought that in my 60's I would be buying art from young potters and sculptors but these artists are just so good,so available and so affordable. You just know that In a year or so you will be paying top prices in top London galleries. Big thanks to the Bentley's and their wonderful gallery Get on line see who you like and give Nick a ring There has to be something for everyone!" DT, West Midlands
"WOW ! Just paid a fortune to download that in Zanzibar. Well worth it - it is stunning! Thanks Nick - VERY excited client." TM, East Riding
"I am enjoying my Jane Wheeler flagon So much! I just adore it-lifts my spirits just to look at it. Nick at Bils and Rye was extremely helpful in working out this transaction. He went above and beyond what one would normally expect in order to allow me to obtain this piece. Shipping was lightning fast and the pot was superbly packed. I wish I could give more than 5 stars--ten?? The gallery must be stunning." DT, Illinois June 2015
"This is a wonderful gallery well worth a detour. It has an eclectic mix of art, ceramics and sculpture. Set in the delightful hamlet of Nunnington where the owners could not be more helpful and engaging. Just browse or buy it was a delight to find." Graham M via TripAdvisor
"I've passed your details onto my arty friends so hopefully they will make the journey to see your remarkable enterprise." LP, Yorkshire
"Lola has arrived! She is magnificent." E Heller, NY USA
"Great find, wonderful humour and a great conversation piece" Adam & Eve