Corby artist Jim Lockhart is staging his first exhibition in the town at the age of 85.
Entitled Last of the Summer Wine, it opens at the Rooftop Gallery and Workshops, in the former library above Queens Square, Corby, today.
Mr Lockhart, who has campaigned for an art gallery in the town for years, will be exhibiting more than 40 paintings, including some entitled My War, depicting his time as a Bevin Boy working in the mines.
The exhibition also includes a photographic display featuring black and white pictures showing Corby’s growth and the fight to save the steelworks.
There is also a film about Mr Lockhart, called Cultured and Captivating, made by Martin Steed.
Corby author Paula Boulton, who was instrumental in opening the new gallery and workshops along with members of Corby Artists’ Network, said; “Jim, who moved to Corby in 1966, has painted since he was 14 and has exhibited many times outside the town but never in Corby itself.
“His plea for gallery space spurred the creation of the new Rooftop Gallery in the town centre.
“We are thrilled to finally be moving in and it is very fitting that Jim’s exhibition holds pride of place. We plan to create workshop spaces for artists in one half of the old library and host an exciting series of exhibitions at the other end. There is also room for groups, classes and workshops.
“We want the people of Corby to come in and let us know how they want the project to develop. It is a community venture run by volunteers and we are calling the space The Centre for Creativity.”
Mr Lockhart’s exhibition includes landscape and seascapes in oils and acrylics and two of the paintings have already been sold before the opening, one to Jim Boulton who lives in Xiamen, China.
Paula said: “Jim has called the exhibition Last of the Summer Wine, as he believes, at 85, he is about ready to hang up his paintbrushes. Let’s give him the support he deserves.”
The exhibition will run Wednesday to Saturday, from 11am until 4pm, until June 30.
There will also be a display of painting by children from the Pen Green Centre, Corby.