Kate & Nick Bentley
Founders and owners of Bils & Rye Kate and Nick Bentley live for art. It is their passion, along with two daughters and errant dog.
Kate spent the last 10 years working as an artist, recently taking a break to spend more time in the gallery alongside home schooling her young daughters. Her work covered figurative through to seascapes and much in between and her last body of work was a series showing the diversity of Highland Cattle! She has a love of dogs, horses, chocolate and entertaining (not necessarily in that order). Her greatest influence has been her incredibly arty family.
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. Outside of art and ceramics in particular, Nick loves motor racing, cricket, reading and eating out! Wine is also quite important.
We selected Kirkbymoorside as the next home for Bils & Rye after an extensive search for a suitable building. Typically, we have 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. Earlier this year a new landlord took ownership and has begun a program of renovations. We have helped this along the way by securing a lease for the entire ground floor, a little over 120 square metres.
These renovations will see the external appearance bought back to it's heyday and hopefully bringing Bils & Rye to 'the gateway' to the North York Moors will also add value to the town. The local support as we have prepared the building has been immense and thanks goes to, in no particular order, David Wood, Mike Pilley, Jess Shaw, George Gold, Aidan and Sarah Delacy-Simms and the countless friends who have helped with our precious girls whilst we have been working all hours! Without these and many more we would be no where near being able to open on the 3rd September 2016.
From our perspective communications and transport will improve dramatically, according to wikipedia there is even a bus root which runs right past the gallery.
Our aim is to continue the laid back approach to art, hopefully elevating knowledge of modern British ceramics and sculpture without the 'what is it' response!
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