ARTIST Peter Brook is proving an inspiration to a new generation of young artists who competed for an annual prize awarded in his name.
Students from Rastrick High School sixth form and Brooksbank School, Elland, contributed paintings, sculptures, photographs and textile work for an exhibition at the Smith Art Gallery, Brighouse.
The work was inspired by ‘Portraits’, an exhibition by artist Barry de More at the gallery in October. Students who visited the exhibition were invited to create original pieces based on what they had seen and the resulting work was entered for the Peter Brook Art Prize.
It is the third year that the prize has been competed for. In 2008 and 2009 Brighouse artist Peter Brook was at the gallery in person to chat to young artists and hand over the prizes. After his death in November 2009 it was considered important that the prize should continue to be awarded to encourage artistic endeavour.
Peter’s widow, Molly, and daughter, Alison, were at the exhibition to hand over the prizes. Molly commissioned an engraved trophy for the winning school which this year was Brooksbank.
Individual awards were made to Asha Ali of Rastrick High School and Demi-Leigh Bairstow of Brooksbank School and there were prizes and certificates for every artist.
Jeffrey Andrews, education officer for Calderdale Museums and Arts, said: “Peter Brook was a great example of an artist who stayed close to his community. It was inspiring for these young people to realise they can live and work as artists in their community.
“There was a great turn-out at the exhibition’s opening on Saturday and more than 100 students, parents and friends came along. It was a real thrill for these potential artists of the future to see their work on show outside the classroom and in a public gallery.
“Peter Brook was a good friend of the Smith Art Gallery and was passionate about the Yorkshire landscape and its people. The exhibition is a fitting tribute to him and the creative work of young people in Brighouse.
“As a former teacher, Peter was always keen to encourage artistic talent and he enjoyed spending time with young people, talking to them about their hopes and ambitions.”
The exhibition is at the Smith Art Gallery until Saturday, February 19.
l Brighouse Saturday Art Club, which meets fortnightly at the Smith Art Gallery, is looking for new members. The club for children aged from eight-12 will next meet on Saturday from 10.30am to noon and then on February 5 and 19.
Sessions cost £4 with an annual membership fee of £1. For further information contact Jeffrey Andrews on 01422 284459.