Portrait of Jimmy Montgomery (copyright Peter Walton), one of the many fantastic images in the “Portraits from the North East” exhibition which runs until Sunday 6 December at Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens.

PORTRAITS from the North East is a new exhibition of photographs by a group of local photographers and features portraits of individuals who make a significant contribution to life in the region.

The exhibition which opened today (Tuesday 3 November) runs until Sunday 6 December 2015 at Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens, allows the visitor to put a face to some familiar names. It has been created by a collective of photographers whose aim is to celebrate the rich tapestry of life and achievement in the County Durham, Northumberland and Tyne & Wear area.

Sunderland City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Public Health, Wellness and Culture, Councillor John Kelly, said: “I’d encourage anyone to come along and visit this exhibition. This is a fantastic celebration of what makes the North East great, its people. . Some of the subjects may be born and bred in the area but one way or another they have chosen to and are glad to be regarded as being from here.”

Including portraits of several people from Sunderland including Kate Adie, Jim Montgomery, Julie Elliot MP and Paul Callaghan, the exhibition features people from many different walks of life including sporting heroes, politicians, entrepreneurs, artists and musicians.

Cllr Kelly added: “This year we have shown the winners of the BP Portrait Award, from the National Portrait Gallery, hosted a much-loved work from the National Gallery Collection – Canaletto’s A Regatta on the Grand Canal as part of the Masterpiece Tour. We also have the Picture the Poet exhibition from the National Portrait Gallery running until Sunday 29 November. This free photography exhibition from the National Portrait Gallery collection, features over fifty portraits of some of Britain’s leading living poets. Our city should be proud of its growing reputation as a nationally recognised venue for high profile events and activities.”

John Cogan, Associate of The Royal Photographic Society and one of the photographers and instigator of the project, said: “Our main aim is to show our fellow North Easterners that the region is full of vibrant, independent and innovative people. As a group we travel across Northumberland, County Durham and Tyne & Wear capturing the many moods of people of significance. People often forget that there is more to the North East than its heavy industrial past. Yes, we have the best coastline in the country, the best tasting lamb and some of the finest buildings but we also have the people who bring this region to life. As a region we work, we innovate and we should be proud of our achievements.”

Portraits from the North East will be at Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens, Burdon Road, Sunderland, SR1 1PP from Tuesday 3 November until Sunday 6 December.

For more information visit http://www.seeitdoitsunderland.co.uk/sunderland-museum-winter-gardensand www.portraitsfromthenortheast.org or @SunderlandUK