Gallery boss aims for debut night to show off city’s thriving art scene

Sarah Jane Bellwood.
Sarah Jane Bellwood.

The first ever ‘Ashton Evening’ will be held at the Ashton Memorial this Friday (February 27) from 7.30pm.

Lancaster artist Sarah Jane Bellwood of the city’s Bellwood and Wright art gallery will be the first exhibitor at this series to promote local art and music.

Sarah has a strong affinity for the park and draws inspiration from its woodlands. She states it is a “fabulous resource for the people of Lancaster”.

“The park is valuable as a place to walk, think, picnic, and for kids to play,” she said.

Sarah says the urge to draw was “something she was born with”. She spent much of her childhood in Cumbria, and it was in the vast open spaces of the Lake District that she was inspired to start drawing and painting at a very young age.

Sarah studied at St Martin’s College where she obtained a first class degree graduating in 2004.

While she was there she became involved in helping other students and began to do some teaching work within the college.

Alongside private tuition Sarah taught at the college until 2014. She stopped teaching this year and says she will miss passing on her skills but new and exciting projects are keeping her busy.

After leaving the college Sarah formed a partnership with her brother-in-law Andrew Wright. Together they launched the Bellwood and Wright fine art gallery in Lancaster. At the time Sarah say s there was no exhibiting space in Lancaster for new artists. Their aim was to ‘fill a gap in the market’ and provide a platform for new, mainly northern artists, creating affordable original art.

On December 12 2014 the gallery celebrated its 10th birthday. They now have over 30 artists on their books working in mediums including painting, prints, ceramics, jewellery and glass. Sarah said the success of the gallery is proof that “art can thrive in Lancaster”.

She recently won the North of England award at the prestigious National Open Art Competition for her painting, ‘Live.Eat.Kill.Die’. Following this success she has recently been taken on by the prestigious Panter and Hall gallery in London.

Music will be provided by local jazz artist Sue Parish and will feature jazz standards by artists including George Gershwin and Cole Porter.

As part of the exhibition Sarah has produced 10 limited edition prints.

There will be approximately 30 of each work printed off and all proceeds will go to support the work of the ‘Friends’ in preserving Williamson Park.

Tickets are £10 and are available in person from the Williamson Park shop or Lancaster Visitor Information Centre at The Storey.