AN INAUGURAL exhibition, showcasing artists who have formed one of the most important creative hubs in the North-East, has opened at a thriving cultural centre.

The Ushaw Studio Winter Exhibition features the work of 19 artists based at Ushaw Historic House and Gardens, near Durham.

Over the past year, Ushaw has developed its status as a cultural focal point, with around 30 professional artists working in studios that were once seminary rooms in the days when the building was a Catholic college for training priests.

One of the first artists to take up residency, Susan Warlock, has led the exhibition and hopes are high that it will become an annual event.

“There are so few opportunities for artists to have studio spaces and Ushaw really has become an increasingly important creative hub,” said Susan.

“It can be very isolating for artists working in a vacuum, so it’s lovely to be able to bat ideas around with other creative people. That’s how the idea for the exhibition came about, and it really shows the breadth and quality of work being produced here.”

Andrew Heard, Collections and Exhibitions Officer at Ushaw, added: “It’s wonderful to see what artists have been producing in their studios. There is a really strong artistic community at Ushaw now, and that has created a strong creative energy. The quality of the exhibition speaks for itself and, hopefully, it will become an annual event.”

As well as paintings, the exhibition comprises work by weavers, quilters, and silversmiths, and all pieces are for sale.

The exhibition runs until March 14 and the participating artists are: Susan Warlock, Dr. Maggie Parker, Ian Leslie, Lucille Toumi, Denise Smithson, Alison Minney, Snow and Crow Printmakers, Graham Parker, Emma Beattie, Powder Butterfly, Jane Blacklock, Amanda Jane Ogden, Betty Brown, John Gray, Roz Gadd, Fiona Courtman, Emerald Architects, John Grey, and Jo Bolton.

  • To find out more about exhibitions and other events at Ushaw, go to www.ushaw.org