Celebrating the rich seam of our artists

Artist Brian Lewis who is opening Tyke Modern Gallery above ETSY in Pontefract'Picture by Dean Atkins
Artist Brian Lewis who is opening Tyke Modern Gallery above ETSY in Pontefract'Picture by Dean Atkins

Preparations are being made for a festival in Pontefract to celebrate the work of artists, writers and comedians from across the Five Towns.

Artist Brian Lewis is making plans for the event which will take place at venues across the town next month.

Mr Lewis said: “I was looking at the line-up and programme of events for the Wakefield LitFest and thought there was nothing to celebrate arts and literature in Pontefract and Castleford.

“There has been a lot of work done in the Five Towns and I want to celebrate that with a fringe festival in Pontefract.”

As part of the event, photographer Karl Nurse will launch his book of shots he took of artists drawing a live model at the Red Lion Hotel.

Mr Nurse will launch it at the UCAN Centre, Green Lane, on Saturday, September 12 from noon.

There will also be an open-mic night with comedian Ray Hearne on Wednesday, September 23. A venue is yet to be confirmed.

Mr Lewis said: “I have written a book about the people’s history of Pontefract from 1960 to 2014 and am currently working with councillor Graham Stokes on a similar book for Knottingley and Ferrybridge.

“Working on the books has shown just how much fantastic work there is done in the area and I want the festival to be a celebration of that.”

Mr Lewis has recently opened the Tyke Modern Gallery at Cornmarket, Pontefract - in rooms above the Elite Training Systems Yorkshire’s (ETSY) community store.

It has more than 100 works from dozens of Yorkshire artists.

Mr Lewis said he also wants to hear from people across the area who want to get involved with the project and gallery above the ETSY shop.

The exhibition features artwork from artists across Yorkshire.

He said: “The main aim is for people to be able to come and leave with something on their CVs but it’s all at an early stage and I’m not quite sure how it’ll work out yet.”

For more information on the project or if you would like to get involved call Mr Lewis on 01977 793121 or email brian@pontefractpress.com