Fylde coast art gallery owner hails return to normality exhibition after pandemic

A Fylde coast man is exhibiting images of well-known cityscapes for the first time, after leading artists captured cities coming back to life following the deserted streets of the pandemic.
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The new Back To The City exhibition running at Windermere Fine Art Gallery until May 20, has been curated by Blackpool leisure industry veteran Matthew Titherington.

The former general manager of SEA LIFE and Madame Tussauds in the resort, who lives in Poulton, became the owner of the gallery just over a year ago as part of a major life-shift during the pandemic.

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He said artists in the new show include the latest prize-winners from the highly-acclaimed annual exhibition of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters, one of the top accolades in British art.

Matthew Titherington at the WFA GalleryMatthew Titherington at the WFA Gallery
Matthew Titherington at the WFA Gallery
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They include award-winning members of the Northern Boys painting group, such as Michael Ashcroft.

Works feature from David Curtis; Steven P Smith; Adam Ralston, current winner of the ROI’s Frank Herring Easel Award and recently-made associate member of the ROI; Max White, current winner of the ROI’s coveted Emerging Artist Prize; Ian Layton; Gerry Halpin; Haidee-Jo Summers; Amanda Coleman, current winner of the ROI’s Alan Gourley Memorial Award; Andrew Farmer; Norman Long, from Preston; Chris Slater and David Allen.

Matthew, who took over the gallery with his wife, Dawn, said: “The new exhibition follows artists returning to the streets of major towns and cities after the pandemic with renewed vigour and appreciation.

One of the paintings in the new exhibition- Rain Over Barton ManchesterOne of the paintings in the new exhibition- Rain Over Barton Manchester
One of the paintings in the new exhibition- Rain Over Barton Manchester
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“Their work captures some of the most iconic views, designs and man-made structures, as well as the changing light and atmosphere as people return to the city.”

It will be the first in a series of major exhibitions at the gallery running throughout 2022, as part of a campaign to re-establish the Lake District to being widely-recognised as a northern hub for high quality fine and contemporary art, rivalling the big city galleries.

The gallery has been a champion of the ‘en plein air’ painting by the distinguished group known as the ‘Northern Boys’, whose work frequently features in top London galleries.

WFA also has a second gallery, which features an extensive collection of contemporary, urban, street and graffiti art, which is updated every week. As well as showcasing works from established artists, such as The Connor Brothers, Mr Brainwash, JJ Adams, Yuvi, Dirty Hans and Mr Controversial, the gallery continuously sources the latest, freshest upcoming contemporary artists to procure unique, statement pieces of art for display.