04/02/2013 03:47 GMT | Updated 05/04/2013 06:12 BST

York Art Gallery Invites Visitors To Paint Their Own Picture

Art gallery visitors became the artists today as they were invited to draw on walls normally hung with priceless masterpieces.

York Art Gallery was transformed when it opened its doors and allowed members of the public to create their own works of art.

The gallery will now be closed until spring 2015 as it undergoes an £8 million development to create extra exhibition and learning space.

Today, with the building cleared of its art collections, visitors were invited to paint and draw on the walls of the main gallery, paint the south gallery with light and yarn bomb outside areas.

The gallery's collection of paintings spans more than 600 years, from 14th century Italian panels and 17th century Dutch masterpieces to Victorian narrative paintings and 20th century works by LS Lowry and David Hockney.

During the two-year closure, many of the paintings, ceramics and sculptures will be on display at other galleries as part of York Art Gallery on Tour.

Gaby Lees, assistant curator of arts learning at the gallery, said: "It isn't very often you have a space like York Art Gallery completely empty.

"We thought this was a unique chance to invite people to come and hear about our plans for the future, but also make use of the space in an artistic way."