‘Art is in the air’ exhibition heads to Hartlepool

Published Tuesday, 12th February 2019

An exhibition celebrating the work of artists inspired by the beautiful northern landscapes is to go on show at Hartlepool Art Gallery.

The free exhibition opens to the public on Saturday 23 March and runs until Saturday 25 May. Funded by Arts Council England, it highlights stunning outdoor landscapes and scenes of beauty that might otherwise be overlooked.

Painters Outdoors: ‘Plein Air in the North’ showcases a number of pieces of contemporary art work created directly from nature ‘en plein air’, which is the French expression for ‘in the open air.’ This style of painting is completed in the landscape over one or two sessions, in which the artist aims to capture a scene through visual judgements of forms, space, colour and lighting conditions. The resulting paintings are often visually exciting and express rapid brushwork.

Painters Outdoors

North East plein air artist Stuart Jones, who is the curator of the exhibition, has hand-selected a number of historical works from the Tees Valley Museums collection to feature in the exhibition. These include works by artists from the Staithes Group (1894-1909) such as Hartlepool’s John William Howey (1873-1938).

Stuart Jones says: “I am extremely grateful to the regional museums that have contributed works to the exhibition by members of the Staithes Group, as it reveals the legacy of painters who have found the northern landscape and Yorkshire coast to be an endless source of artistic expression, showing all aspects of beauty, drama, life and atmosphere.

“The exhibition also showcases some of the greatest and most influential plein air painters working today, including Royal Institute of Oil Painters’ David Curtis, Haidee-Jo Summers and Andrew Farmer.

“I urge everyone to visit so that they can appreciate the quality and talent in painting that is on display in such a lovely venue. It really is something special.”

As well as featuring historical plein air paintings, the exhibition also brings together the work of six contemporary artists, some of whom are local to the Tees Valley area including Stuart Jones and Susanna Heath, as well as David Curtis, Andrew Farmer, Chris Slater and Haidee-Jo Summers.

Many of the artists featured in the exhibition have painted familiar scenes from the Tees Valley area exploring the beauty the natural world embodies and many of the contemporary artists’ works will be for sale.

Ashley Landsbury, Museum and Art Gallery Manager, says: “We are delighted to be displaying Painters Outdoors: ‘Plein Air in the North’ here at Hartlepool Art Gallery and hope it has the power to make people stop what they’re doing, look around and really appreciate the beauty right here on their doorstep which so often gets lost in the chaos of life. I also hope people are inspired to pick up a paintbrush after visiting this captivating exhibition.”

Hartlepool Art Gallery is located in Church Square and is open Tuesdays to Saturdays from 10am to 5pm. For further information, call (01429) 869706 or visit www.hartlepoolartgallery.co.uk