Enduring legacy of a Pennine painter

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BRIGHOUSE painter Peter Brook had a talent for encouraging and supporting young artists.

He taught at Sowerby Bridge Grammar School until he became a full-time artist in his 40s and loved sharing ideas and discussing painting with the young people he met.

When the first Peter Brook Art Prize was launched in 2008, Peter was on hand to award the prizes and talk to the winners about their paintings.

Peter died in November 2009 at the age of 81 but his legacy lives on as the art prize is awarded every year in his name and the winning artworks are displayed at the Smith Art Gallery.

The annual exhibition has become a permanent tribute to Peter and a celebration of his life and work in his home town.

This year’s Peter Brook Art Prize - the fourth - is being awarded on Saturday, January 14 at the gallery. The work of pupils from Brighouse High School, Rastrick Sixth Form College and Brooksbank High School will be on show until mid-February.

Jeffrey Andrews, of Calderdale Council museums and arts, said: “The students visited the gallery last November to see the ‘Brighouse and Beyond’ exhibition and met the artist Matthew Evans. Following a lively gallery discussion and sharing of ideas, the students were invited to create original artworks inspired by what they had seen and heard.

“The exhibition is their creative response and captures the talents, thoughts and aspirations of these artists of the future.”

Peter Brook lived in Brighouse for most of his life and many of his paintings depicted scenes within a 20-mile radius of his home. He was passionate about the Yorkshire Pennines, painting them even in the depths of winter, and he exhibited across the world.