Stunning seascapes, animal portraits, and a model of the theatre once managed by Stan Laurel’s father are among the artworks on display at an exhibition in Bishop Auckland.

The Open Art Exhibition, at Durham County Council-run Bishop Auckland Town Hall gallery, features the work of 99 local artists from their teens to their 80s.

A total of 186 pieces are on show in a range of different mediums including drawing, painting, textile, sculpture, digital art and photography.

Cllr Elizabeth Scott, the council’s Cabinet member for economy and partnerships, said: “We had an overwhelming response to our call out for submissions last year and the sheer quality of the work submitted left the exhibition panel with some very difficult decisions about which pieces to exhibit.

“One thing’s for certain – we have an abundance of incredibly talented local artists here in County Durham! It is our great pleasure to be displaying their work in such a prestigious venue. Our artists come from all walks of life and I hope seeing their work on show makes each and every one of them feel very proud.

“This year’s exhibition also has a new ‘youth’ category featuring 11 young artists aged 13 to 18. There are so many great pieces to see – we’ve got paintings, glass sculptures, a stunning model of the old Eden theatre, and even an otherworldly papier mache head that appears to be bursting out of a wall. Some of the items are for sale too.

“We hold lots of major events throughout the year but celebrating local talent in this way is every bit as important to our aspirations to make County Durham the culture county. You really need to see it for yourself.”

The Open Call Exhibition is on show in Bishop Auckland Town Hall’s gallery from 10am to 4pm, Monday to Saturday (excluding bank holidays), until Saturday 17 February. Admission is free.

To find out more about the exhibition and other events at Bishop Auckland Town Hall visit

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