Exhibition rolls back the years

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A MORPETH craft centre will become the town’s newest art gallery in a bid to draw in more visitors.

A series of exhibitions will be held at Morpeth Chantry, with each artist given two months to display their work.

Visitors will have the opportunity to buy pieces, as well as chat to their creators.

Chantry Manager Dawn Goodwill-Evans said: “We will be doing art exhibitions for two monthly periods and have created a special space for those.

“It is an initiative to encourage more visitors into the Chantry. Obviously the new shopping centre has opened now and the Chantry is at the bottom of Bridge Street so this is to encourage more people to come our way who maybe haven’t been for a while.”

Kicking off the initiative will be photographic artist Jan Radwanski who, in addition to creating his own work, is involved in restoring images of the area from more than a century ago.

In the last two years he has developed his photographic floral artwork and was awarded first prize in Photography at the Expo 2010 exhibition, as well as being highly commended in the British Heart Foundation’s Red for the Heart photography competition.

Mr Radwanski will be available at the Chantry on Saturday, from 11am to 3pm, to discuss his work.

And Mrs Goodwill-Evans hopes it will be a popular event.

She said: “For the first two months of our exhibitions we will be displaying work by Jan Radwanski.

“He has got fantastic black and white photographs from the early 1900s and the 19th Century of local scenes in Ashington, Bedlington, Blyth, and of course Morpeth, which may be of interest to a lot of people.”

Other artists expected to join the programme include Roger Coulam, Steve Mayes and Michael Goonan, and a National Parks exhibition that was displayed at The Biscuit Factory in Newcastle may be shown.

Local artists wishing to display their work are encouraged to contact the Chantry, and there could also be a space for students to show off their creative flair.

“We aim to have a space for young people’s work, which will give them a chance to become commercial,” said Mrs Goodwill-Evans.

As part of the art focus, the Chantry will also hold regular Meet the Artist events at weekends.

For more information about the exhibitions, or to inquire about displaying work, visit the Chantry in Bridge Street, email dawn.goodwill-evans@northumberland.gov.uk or call 01670 500700.