TAMESIDE’S artistic talent will once again be centre stage when the 2023 open art exhibition begins its three-month run at the Astley Cheetham Gallery in Stalybridge on Saturday, June 17 (11am).
The annual event, which will be opened by the Civic Mayor of Tameside, Cllr Tafheen Sharif, is one of the longest-running exhibitions of its kind in the country. It is special in that any of the borough’s residents can submit work and have it shown in a professional gallery setting.
There are 95 items on display including paintings, photography, collage, embroidery, ceramics and woodwork. This year, for the first time, contributors have been invited to give some information about their art and why they created it.
Cllr Sangita Patel, Tameside Council’s executive member for culture and heritage, said: “The beauty of the open art exhibition is that it’s so democratic. It’s open to everyone, giving all our residents the chance to see their work properly displayed in a gallery.
“However, that is in no way to suggest it is any kind of amateur event. There’s an extraordinary amount of talent in Tameside and the submitted art is though-provoking, impressive and of a very high standard.”
The Astley Cheetham Art Gallery is on Trinity Street, Stalybridge, above the library. Its opening hours are: Mondays and Tuesdays, 9am to 1pm; Wednesdays, 1 to 5pm; Saturdays, 10am to 3pm. There is a self-led crafts table for children.
“Tiger Studies” by Anthony Bennett
“I enjoy animal painting – wildlife in particular. Magnificent tigers are one of my firm favourites with their striking burned orange and dark striped fur. (Which, surprisingly, makes them ideal for concealment while hunting). In these studies, I endeavoured to convey the feline characteristics these tigers share with their much smaller cousins – the pet cat. Only you wouldn’t want to pet a tiger.”
“Metasequoia” by Greg Knowles
“The Metasequoia is an ancient species of tree dating back 65 million years. It was believed to be extinct, with only fossil evidence proving it ever existed. In 1941, Chinese botanists discovered a single specimen in a remote valley, and when the Second World War ended, botanists from Harvard were invited to investigate. Seeds were distributed to several noted universities, including Manchester. One of those that germinated was donated to Didsbury Park. This grew into the tree in the painting.”