ON SHOW: Artist Mark Johnston is one of those whose work features in the exhibition to celebrate 20 years of the Darlington-based Gallerina contemporary art gallery
ON SHOW: Artist Mark Johnston is one of those whose work features in the exhibition to celebrate 20 years of the Darlington-based Gallerina contemporary art gallery

ARTS centre officials in Barnard Castle are celebrating a first for the complex.

Darlington-based Gallerina has become the first commercial art gallery to stage an exhibition at The Witham.

The display – 20/Twenty – features 20 paintings commissioned by Gallerina to champion the North and mark two decades of the gallery.

Richard Hindle, from Gallerina, said: “20/Twenty is an exhibition which will launch a year long series of events and 'pop-ups' helping us to celebrate 20 years in contemporary fine art.

“We are thrilled to be starting our celebrations with The Witham.

“It is a venue we have enjoyed personally over the years and is a wonderful setting to help showcase these artists, all of whom for this particular show are home grown talent.”

Blenkiron

Among the artists whose work is included in the exhibition is Mark Johnston. From Stockton, he studied at Newcastle College of Art, Cumbria College and Brighton University.

The Gallerina team has been representing him for the past 17 years and to help celebrate Gallerina’s new base in Victoria Road, Darlington, and his partnership with the gallery, he recently produced works in oil and ink on paper.

The Witham’s interim director Shelagh Avery added: “We are delighted to be working closely with Gallerina and so pleased that the 20/Twenty exhibition will be here at Barnard Castle’s vibrant arts centre.”

The exhibition preview coin cided with the launch of the centre’s autumn programme, which attracted more than 100 people.

The 20/Twenty exhibition is on show until August 29. Admission is free during centre opening hours, 10am to 4pm, Tuesday to Saturday.

For more information call The Witham box office on 01833 631107 or go to www.thewitham.org.uk.